FREE SPEECH AT HARVARD
According to the Center for World University Rankings, “Harvard is the best university in the world.” As alumni, we certainly want this to be true.
One might conclude that the “best university in the world” would hold a very high position in the annual “Free Speech Ranking” published by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)
However, out of 159 colleges surveyed by FIRE in 2021, Harvard ranked at number 130, in the lowest 20%. FIRE’s 2022 survey rankings showed Harvard at number 170 out of 203 schools, even lower. The final straw has come with the 2023 rankings, showing that Harvard is dead last out of 248 American universities. This should be intolerable to any member of the Harvard community who believes in free speech.
A university is of little value if it does not defend and promote freedom of speech, thought and expression.
The first amendment of The Constitution of the United States declares “that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech,” but this guarantee does not extend to Harvard University, which is a private institution.
The key stakeholders in a university are the students, the faculty, the administration, and the alumni. As alumni, we believe we have the power to help effect positive change. For this reason, we have founded Harvard Alumni for Free Speech and will cooperate with many alumni of other universities through the Alumni Free Speech Alliance.
Our purpose is to promote and strengthen free expression, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity, both on campus and throughout the global Harvard-Radcliffe community. We hope to encourage all Harvard stakeholders who pursue freedom in speech and thought.
We invite you to subscribe to our email list, to learn more about the situation. Through free and open expression, let’s pursue our motto: VERITAS