Princeton President Recommends Firing Joshua Katz After Uproar - The New York Times
May 20, 2022 2 mins, 58 secs
A university report says the concerns are related to his inappropriate conduct with a female student.

In July 2020, as social justice protests roiled the nation, Joshua Katz, a Princeton classics professor, wrote in a small influential journal that some faculty proposals to combat racism at Princeton would foment “civil war on campus,” and denounced a student group, the Black Justice League, as “a small local terrorist organization” because of its tactics in pushing for institutional changes.

The remarks in Quillette made him a lightning rod in the campus free speech debate, reviled by some who thought what he said was racist, and lionized by others who defended his right to say it.

His job is at stake for what a university report says was his failure to be totally forthcoming about a sexual relationship with a student 15 years ago that he has already been punished for.

Michael Hotchkiss, a spokesman for Princeton, said the university “generally does not comment on personnel matters.” Officials would not say when the board of trustees would come to a decision.

But his lawyer, Samantha Harris, said she was expecting the trustees to fire him.

Katz, 52, has also become a cause célèbre among a number of conservative columnists, some of whom say that his case represents a troubling escalation in the debate over free speech on campuses, in which expressing an unorthodox opinion is not a matter of protected speech but a stain on one’s character that justifies excavating past wrongs to expunge it.

Harris, his lawyer, said.

Eisgruber, has cultivated a reputation as a defender of free speech.

The university adopted the “Chicago Principles,” a commitment to free speech — even if it is offensive — that was formulated at the University of Chicago.

Katz’s language, said attributing his troubles to his speech was “a bad faith argument” that was “completely inconsistent” with past statements by Mr.

Eisgruber in support of free speech.

One of the demands was that Princeton “acknowledge, credit and incentivize anti-racist student activism,” beginning with a “formal public university apology” to members of the Black Justice League, who were met with institutional resistance when they agitated, several years before it happened, to remove President Woodrow Wilson’s name from the School of Public and International Affairs.

A university spokesman said at the time that Princeton would be “looking into the matter,” but no investigation materialized.

Katz, the student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, began an investigation of sexual harassment accusations against him.

The university had started an investigation after it learned of the relationship in late 2017, about ten years after it happened, and Dr.

But after the Princetonian report, she filed a formal complaint that led the administration to open a new investigation, which it said was looking at new issues rather than revisiting old violations, according to the university report.

Katz had discouraged the woman from seeking mental health treatment while they were together, for fear of disclosing their relationship; that he had pressured her not to cooperate with the investigation in 2018; and that he had hindered that investigation by not being totally honest and forthcoming, according to the report.

in classics at the University of Cambridge, graduated from Princeton in 2017.

It has been included on a university website, “To Be Known and Heard,” that tackles Princeton and systemic racism

The site includes a historical outline of free speech controversies, starting with minstrelsy and ending with quotes from his article

The timeline states, “Throughout its history, Princeton has grappled with what crosses the ‘line’ between free speech and freedom of expression, and racist statements and actions.”

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