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The Situation at Harvard

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Harvard ranked #170 out of the 203 surveyed in the 2022 College Free Speech Rankings.

This student survey, conducted by College Pulse and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)  questioned nearly 45,000 students nationwide (250 Harvard undergraduates) to produce the largest survey of college students about free speech on their campuses ever conducted.

Harvard scored poorly in three student

perception categories:

  • Comfort Expressing Ideas–132nd

    • This category measures the student’s perceived ability to have difficult conversations on campus.

  • Disruptive Conduct - 189th

    • This category measures how acceptable students find blocking, shouting down, and physical violence in preventing on-campus speakers from speech activity at their college.

  • Administrative Support - 101st

    • This category measures the student’s perceptions of their college’s support for free speech

Harvard receives a “yellow” speech code rating from FIRE. 

  • Colleges with Yellow ratings have policies that restrict a more limited amount of protected expression or, by virtue of their vague wording, could too easily be used to restrict protected expression.

For more information about Harvard’s speech codes: Spotlight Database

Harvard’s administrative state has grown dramatically in recent years

  • Administrator to faculty ratio of 3 to 1

  • Student to administrator ratio of 5 to 1 

  • Between 2002 and 2020, Harvard increased total spending by 117.90%.

  • In the same time frame, Harvard disproportionately increased administrative spending by 176.12% to a total of $1,314,936,480, while instructional spending increased by only 42.92% 

Read Brooks B. Anderson's Harvard Crimson piece on administrative bloat in Harvard: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2022/11/29/anderson-bureaucratic-bloat-harvard/

View more statistics about Harvard's administrative bloat and spending habits here.


For more information about Harvard’s financial data: HowCollegesSpendMoney.com

For more information about Harvard’s placement in the College Free Speech Rankings report this summary report: 2022 College Free Speech Ranking Harvard

For more information on Harvard’s history of censorship, due process incidents, and academic sanction: Free Speech and Due Process Issues at Harvard University

Check out ACLU attorney Bill Newman's Civil Liberties Minute on free speech at Harvard.

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