FSU named one of the nation’s top colleges for free expression

Florida State University placed No. 15 in the 2022-2023 College Free Speech Rankings published by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), which conducts the nation’s largest annual survey on student free expression.

Students from more than 200 of America’s largest and most prestigious college campuses are surveyed and schools are ranked from best to worst according to campus free speech climates. FSU is the highest-rated university from the state of Florida on the list.

Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)

“Universities are incredible places of intellectual debate where both students and faculty have the freedom to pursue unfettered academic scholarship and scientific inquiry,” said President Richard McCullough. “We are pleased FIRE continues to recognize Florida State University as one of the nation’s top colleges and best in Florida for free expression.”

FIRE surveyed nearly 45,000 college students currently enrolled in four-year degree programs at about 200 institutions. The College Free Speech Rankings are based on a composite score of 10 subcomponents, six of which assess student perceptions of different aspects of the speech climate on their campus.

Students are surveyed on Comfort Expressing Ideas, Tolerance for Liberal Speakers, Tolerance for Conservative Speakers, Disruptive Conduct, Administrative Support and Openness. Four other subcomponents assess administrative behavior regarding free expression on campus. Higher scores indicate a better campus climate for free speech and expression.

“Providing an environment that fosters the respectful exchange of ideas and civil discourse is a top priority for Florida State University, and we are delighted that our efforts to protect every individual’s right to free speech and expression continue to be recognized by FIRE,” said Amy Hecht, vice president for Student Affairs.

In 2020, Florida State earned the organization’s “green light” rating for free speech on campus. The green light is FIRE’s top rating and is held by only two other institutions in Florida, and just 59 nationwide.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and sustaining the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought—the most essential qualities of liberty.