ON-Lion Letter
In April, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in Philadelphia announced the latest university to earn its highest, "green-light" rating for free speech:  The University of Chicago (UC).  In cooperation with FIRE, UC revised all of its speech codes to join an elite group of colleges and universities that maintain policies respecting student and faculty free-expression rights and meeting First Amendment standards. 

"The University of Chicago has been a leader for free speech on college campuses with the Committee on Freedom of Expression's exemplary free speech policy statement, and now I’m happy to say that it is also a green light institution," said Azhar Majeed, FIRE's director of policy reform.  "I'm even more pleased to report that UC is the fourth university to earn FIRE's highest rating for free speech this year."

In January 2015, UC's Committee on Freedom of Expression, chaired by law professor Geoffrey Stone, released its policy statement on free speech, which guarantees "all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn."  FIRE quickly endorsed the robust statement and, in September 2015, launched a national campaign encouraging all colleges and universities in the country to adopt the principles set forth in the statement.  To date, at least 11 institutions and faculty bodies have adopted their own version of the Chicago Statement.

"As a long-time member of the University of Chicago faculty and a scholar of the First Amendment, I am delighted that the University of Chicago has earned FIRE's green light commendation," said Stone.  "From its very founding, the University of Chicago has prided itself on its commitment to free and open discourse and debate."

UC becomes the 27th green-light institution in FIRE's Spotlight database of more than 400 colleges and universities, as well as the first in the state of Illinois.  

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports FIRE.
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