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Free Speech

Opinion: Stanford needs more than words to protect free speech

The Mercury News  |  March 22, 2023 by Michael B. Poliakoff and Steven McGuire


Be an Informed Board Member

Colleges and universities depend on informed and engaged trustees. ACTA’s tools and resources equip board members to be effective fiduciaries for America’s institutions of higher education. Be prepared for your next board meeting with ACTA’s trustee toolkit.

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Emma Camp: "Speech Activists Can Certainly Make Waves"

October 4, 2022

In March 2022, the New York Times published a piece by Emma Camp, titled "I Came to College Eager to Debate. I Found Self-Censorship Instead." The story quickly went viral, and Emma was thrust into the spotlight...


“I appreciate the assistance of the Fund for Academic Renewal in structuring the gift and my agreement. The guidance will ensure that my objectives for the gift will be honored by the University for many years to come.”

Angelo Pizzagalli
Founder of the Pizzagalli Chair of Free Enterprise at University of Vermont


ACTA Submits Comments in Opposition to the Department of Education's NPRM Rescinding Free Inquiry Rule

March 24, 2023 by Michael B. Poliakoff

The department seeks to rescind these regulations because it argues that “they are not necessary to protect the First Amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion; have created confusion among institutions;...


"ACTA’s resources are very informative for my staff as we work to solve issues in higher education. I commend the hard work of ACTA."

Larry Hogan
Governor, State of Maryland

Protecting Students and Taxpayers

Read how policymakers can reform the higher education quality assurance process to protect students and taxpayers, preserve university and college independence and autonomy, and allow innovation in post-secondary education that will retain America's leadership.

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What Will They Learn? 2022-2023

January 18, 2023 by ACTA

Most college ranking systems, like the U.S. News & World Report, do not evaluate what students actually learn in the classroom. What Will They Learn? is the only rating system that examines the course catalogs of each...


“Our very best wishes for ACTA’s continued success. We are in desperate need of educated citizens if as a country we are to survive.”

Barbara and Irving Cohen

  • Freedom of Expression

    I found hope for democracy in an unexpected place

    Washington Post  |  March 1, 2023 by Henry Olsen

    TUCSON — If, like me, you are worried about political polarization and what it is doing to our country, I invite you to consider Arizona’s Regents’ Cup. It might just offer you a ray of hope for our democracy. I recently participated as a moderator and judge at the event. Sponsored by the Arizona Board of […]

  • Civic Literacy

    SUNY to Require Social Justice but Not Civic Education

    RealClear Education  |  February 17, 2023 by Michael B. Poliakoff and Steven McGuire

    Will every State University of New York (SUNY) student be compelled to absorb fashionable social justice theories,without being required to learn the basics of American history or government? Is the whole of the American experience less important than a narrow slice of it? SUNY reported this week that it has added a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice general education […]

  • Trustee Selection

    New College of Florida Needs Leaders, Not Boosters

    the Palm Beach Post  |  February 8, 2023 by Armand B. Alacbay

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has unequivocally made clear that being a college trustee is a serious job for serious people. Some may say he is engineering a “hostile takeover” of New College of Florida (NCF); others will say he is saving higher education from “woke indoctrination” and wasteful spending through his new appointees to the […]

  • Core Curriculum

    DeSantis wants a ‘core curriculum.’ That idea is college kryptonite.

    The Hill  |  February 5, 2023 by Daniel de Visé

    Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor and a potential Republican presidential prospect, says he wants to mandate a “core curriculum” in public universities as a way to ensure young Floridians are grounded in Western civilization.  To the nation’s higher education leaders, that idea is political kryptonite.  Proponents of the core curriculum say every student should emerge from college […]

  • How Colleges Spend Money

    Two out of three college students now graduate with an average of over $28,000 in student debt, and the price of tuition continues to rise at an unsustainable rate, faster even than health care. So how do colleges spend that money?

  • What Will They Learn?®

    The goal of ACTA's What Will They Learn?® project is to encourage colleges and universities to strengthen their general education programs—so that students graduate better prepared for the workforce, ready to participate in their communities as responsible citizens, and acquainted with our cultural and intellectual inheritance.

  • FAR: Fund for Academic Renewal

    Intentional, directed giving has the power to renew our colleges and universities. ACTA's Fund for Academic Renewal serves donors who want to make transformative gifts to higher education, gifts that help institutions live up to their highest ideals. FAR guides donors and their advisors through every step in the gift-making process.

  • 370

    institutions have been counseled by ACTA on matters of cost effectiveness, financial governance, and institutional spending. See ACTA’s one-of-a-kind higher education financial analysis tool:

  • 97

    institutions representing over three million students, encouraged by ACTA, reaffirmed their commitment to free speech on campus by adopting the Chicago Principles on Freedom of Expression.

  • 256

    institutions have improved their core curriculum requirements based on ACTA’s annual What Will They Learn?® initiative. Visit

  • 4,000

    students from 100+ Institutions have engaged in civil discourse debates through ACTA’s college debates program partnership with Braver Angels and Bridge USA.

  • 367

    news outlets reaching 14 million readers have covered ACTA’s nationwide impact on academic excellence, academic freedom, and accountability in higher education.

  • 188

    million dollars in gifts to higher education have been guided through ACTA’s Fund for Academic Renewal. Visit


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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