US News: In rating universities, factor in freedom of speech and viewpoint diversity

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Prospective college and university students and their parents and advisers rely on rankings of institutions of higher education, especially those published by US News & World Report. In doing its rankings, US News and others consider such factors as class size, retention and graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, faculty salaries, students' standardized test scores, and academic reputation. US News does not, however, consider the state of freedom of speech on campuses or the presence or absence of viewpoint diversity among faculty. But the quality of higher education depends crucially on freedom of thought, expression, and discussion and on students' encountering a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives, especially among their teachers. So in doing their rankings of colleges and universities, US News and others should take into account, along with the other factors, freedom of speech and viewpoint diversity.