Foundation Awards EKU Highest Rating for Support of Free Speech

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Eastern Kentucky University is one of only 16 colleges and universities nationwide and the first in Kentucky to earn a “green light” from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for its policies in support of free speech.

“While the overwhelming majority of the nation’s colleges and universities maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech, EKU is a proud exception,” a FIRE news release declared.

“The entire Eastern Kentucky University community should feel extremely proud today,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “The University’s commitment to First Amendment rights has made the University a shining example of how to respect and protect free expression on campus.”

EKU administrators worked with FIRE attorneys to ensure compliance with the First Amendment. Samantha Harris, FIRE's director of speech code research, and Michael Reagle, EKU's associate vice president for Student Affairs, led the effort. 

"It pleases me very much that Eastern Kentucky University has joined the ranks of FIRE's green light institutions," EKU President Doug Whitlock said. "Our universities need to be places where thoughts and ideas are expressed openly and freely consistent with the letter and spirit of the First Amendment. That is our commitment at EKU. We are most appreciative of the help the FIRE staff has been in helping us reach this distinction."

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation's colleges and universities. FIRE's efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at

Published on February 08, 2013

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