Commentary: In Defense of Joshua Katz

John Wilson
Academe Blog

Excerpt: On May 23, the Princeton Board of Trustees voted to fire tenured professor Joshua Katz on the recommendation of a dean and the president, and with the approval of a faculty committee.

Last month, I wrote at Academe Blog in defense of Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber and his strong defense of free speech against those who demanded that he censor a campus website that criticized Katz. I noted, “It’s astonishing to me that a tenured professor who is not being punished in any way can receive an outpouring of support from numerous national groups demanding the intervention of top officials in order to banish mere criticism of a professor.” I still stand completely behind the second part of that sentence defending the right to criticize Katz. But the first part has obviously changed. Eisgruber was right not to silence Katz’s critics, but he is wrong to fire Katz.