For the second year in a row, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, has ranked UNC Charlotte among the nation’s top universities for free speech.
In its recently released 2024 College Free Speech Rankings report, FIRE ranks Charlotte No. 21 with an overall score of 62.54.
The ranking is based on a composite of 13 areas, six of which assess perceptions of freedom of speech on campus through student surveys.
Charlotte is one of three UNC System institutions to receive an “above average” score along with UNC Greensboro and North Carolina State University.
“A key component of UNC Charlotte’s institutional mission is to promote a collegial culture that embraces different perspectives, civil discourse, and free expression, where all University members are treated with respect, fairness, and dignity,” said UNC Charlotte Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and General Counsel Jesh Humphrey. “FIRE’s ranking is a public recognition of our commitment to uphold individual rights while cultivating a community in which those rights are exercised thoughtfully, responsibly and constructively.”
In April, Charlotte’s Faculty Council approved a resolution affirming the University’s responsibility to advocate for and defend the free speech rights of faculty members, staff, and students, and endorsing the Chicago Statement, a declaration of commitment to free speech. Later that month, Charlotte’s Board of Trustees passed its own resolution commending the faculty for their efforts and affirming the Board's commitment to the Chicago Statement.
UNC Charlotte became one of the first universities to earn FIRE’s highest “green light” rating in 2017 for its commitment to free speech.