UNH Named Third in the Nation for College Free Speech

This 2024 report marks the second time in three years UNH has finished number three in the FIRE rankings.

“Free speech is one of the most fundamental American constitutional rights,” said UNH President James W. Dean Jr. “As a public university, UNH protects and promotes this value by ensuring our students can be exposed to new and different ideas that will hopefully inspire growth and intellectual curiosity. This new report from FIRE validates the work we have done and will continue to do to foster an environment where free speech can flourish.”

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FIRE rates the policies that regulate student expression at hundreds of colleges and universities. Institutions are rated annually as “green light,” “yellow light,” or “red light” based upon the extent to which they restrict free speech.

  • FIRE has evaluated more than 600 colleges and universities; only 60 have received “green light ratings.”
  • Three of those – Keene State, Plymouth State, and UNH – are here in NH.

“Students and faculty at the ‘Live Free or Die’ state’s flagship university should be proud to know that their school’s speech policies fall in line with their state’s motto.”

Azhar Majeed
FIRE Vice President of Policy Reform

You can find the most recent FIRE ratings evaluating commitment to Free Speech HERE (filter by state to isolate NH)

Granite Staters can be proud that their public university system has made its campuses into forums for the free exchange of ideas. And they can be thankful to FIRE for encouraging good behavior by monitoring campus speech policies and publishing these rankings.

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy
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NHJournal Q&A with UNH President James W. Dean Jr.

University of New Hampshire President James W. Dean Jr. joins NHJournal to talk about the status of free speech on campus in the UNH system, their rankings from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the culture of free expression in academia.

Dean also makes his case for supporting colleges and universities like UNH, and the need for New Hampshire to help young people get the skills they need to fill the many job vacancies in the state.