On Monday, UC Berkeley was named the number one public school in the U.S News & World Report’s esteemed national rankings of colleges and universities.
The controversial school, which has been the home of the free speech debate, nabbed the number one spot in a tie with another UC school, the University of California Los Angeles. UC Berkeley and UCLA also tied in the overall national rankings at 21.
The magazine ranks schools based on a range of undergraduate majors, master’s degrees and doctoral programs and that demonstrate a commitment to producing “groundbreaking research.” However, the ranking makes light of the free speech debate on UC-Berkeley’s campus, writing in its description, “Berkeley is well known as a hub of liberal student activism: The Free Speech Movement – a 1964 student protest at Berkeley in response to the administration’s ban on political activity – gained widespread attention.”
In the past year, UC Berkeley came under fire from conservatives for canceling Milo Yiannopoulos’ scheduled speech in February and not promising bolstered security for Ann Coulter, leading her to cancel her talk in April.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro is scheduled to give a talk at UC Berkeley on Thursday. And while the school’s administration is allowing him to speak, they’re charging the local chapter of YAF (Young America’s Foundation) $15,000 for security and providing a smaller room as a venue for the event.
Following this report, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ emphasized the campus’s commitment to free speech, saying, “Berkeley, as you know, is the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students on the right and students on the left united to fight for the right to advocate political views on campus. Particularly now, it is critical that the Berkeley community come together once again to protect this right. It is who we are.”