Latest News and Commentary: Princeton

September 13, 2022
By Laura Robertson
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: As part of the University’s series of required orientation programming for first-year students, the Class of 2026 participated in one new event, “Free Expression at Princeton,” which featured an address from President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, as well as student speakers Hannah Kapoor ’23, Vice President of the Undergraduate Student Government, and Myles McKnight ’23, the president of Princeton Open Campus Coalition (POCC).

First-years’ reactions to the required event were mixed, with some saying the event was helpful in introducing the value of free speech to orientation programming and others questioning whether the event was productive for students.

August 26, 2022
By Olivia Glunz and Nadine Strossen
Academic Freedom Alliance

Excerpt: The gold standard for academic freedom was laid out by the AAUP, the American Association of University Professors, in 1915 originally and then with some updates subsequently. The standard is basically a professional one; if a teacher or a scholar is manifestly, clearly incompetent—for instance, they’re falsifying evidence, engaging in plagiarism, or conducting demonstrably, undebatably shoddy research—this should certainly be a basis for discipline.

Recently, we’ve seen another problem of using pretextual bases to silence a professor. In cases like Joshua Katz’s, for instance, a professor is ostensibly punished for some alleged sexual impropriety when it’s very clear that the real reason the university wants to get rid of the professor is his unpopular ideas.

August 22, 2022
By Academic Freedom Alliance Press Release

Excerpt: The Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) today released a statement urging institutions of higher education to desist from demanding “diversity statements” as conditions of employment or promotion. The AFA’s statement responds to the rising trend of academic institutions requiring members or prospective members of faculties to sign pledges or make statements committing themselves to advance “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) or to detail the ways in which they have done or will do so.

August 18, 2022
By Jerry Coyne
Why Evolution Is True

As I’ve written several times, one of the foundational principles of the University of Chicago—institutional neutrality on political or ideological issues—is embodied in the Kalven Report of 1967. The report, which has become a stated policy of the University [of Chicago], is that no unit of our University, be it the administration, departments, or official units, can take official positions on ideological, moral, or political issues—with the rare exception being any issue that directly impacts the mission of the University.

Now we have a statement by Princeton academic Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, urging his university to adopt Kalven.

August 14, 2022
By Logan Dubil
Campus Reform

Excerpt: This fall, Princeton University’s Anthropology Department is offering the course “Current Issues in Anthropology: Liberalism, Racism & Free Speech,” addressing issues relating free speech and hate speech. According to the course description, the class will emphasize how “far right activists” take advantage of “free speech” to “justify hate speech.”

 “We use comparative studies of racist and Islamophobic hate speech to examine different cultural approaches to managing speech and how these rules are contested/challenged by popular countermobilizations,” the description reads. One of the course’s required readings is the book Is Free Speech Racist?, which argues that “‘free speech’ has been adopted as a primary mechanism for amplifying and re-animating racist ideas and racializing claims.”

August 8, 2022
By Christian Schneider
College Fix

The administration at Princeton University isn’t answering questions about whether it has plans to investigate a prominent professor who has been accused of plagiarizing passages for both his doctoral dissertation and a 2015 book.

Princeton spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss declined multiple requests by The College Fix to comment on whether the school would be investigating Kruse, but he has provided a statement to the school paper. “The University is committed to the highest ethical and scholarly standards, and thus takes allegations of research misconduct very seriously,” Hotchkiss told the Princetonian. “We are carefully reviewing the concerns that have been shared with the University, and will handle them in accordance with University policy,” Hotchkiss said.

August 8, 2022
By Pamela Paresky
Reality's Last Stand

Joshua Katz, Princeton’s most eminent linguist and classicist, according to Michael Flower, then-Chair of the Classics department, was “a teacher of unparalleled abilities.” Katz was also the only faculty member able to teach not only Latin and Greek, but also Middle Egyptian, Syriac, Cherokee, Hittite, Tocharian, Old Irish, Old Norse, and Classical Armenian. Nonetheless, as of May 23, 2022, students at Princeton have lost the opportunity to learn from this truly exceptional professor.

Princeton’s treatment of Katz was a warning to every heterodox thinker on every campus across the country.

August 4, 2022
By Jonah Goldberg and Joshua Katz
The Remnant Podcast, The Dispatch

Back in the Remnant driver’s seat, Jonah invites newly minted AEI fellow Joshua Katz onto the program for a nerdtastic discussion of language and how free we are to use it. Inevitably, their conversation touches on Joshua’s departure from Princeton, cancel culture, and broader illiberalism in American life. But it also explores current issues in linguistics, how much we can really know about classical civilizations, and what “literally” actually means. Tune in to find out whether Socrates had it coming.

August 3, 2022
By Michael Poliakoff
American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA)

Despite enormous endowments and surging numbers of applicants, all is not well in the Ivy League. Next year, SCOTUS will decide whether Harvard has disadvantaged Asian applicants, and meanwhile, a series of freedom of speech cases is tarnishing the reputation of America’s most elite universities.

At Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and very recently the University of Pennsylvania, the incidents are piling up, with some very negative press.

August 2, 2022
By Amy Ciceu and Annie Rupertus
Daily Princetonian

Professor of History Kevin M. Kruse was accused of several instances of plagiarism by conservative historian Phillip Magness in an article published in “Reason” in June.

Kruse expressed “surprise” at the allegations and attributed the lack of citations in one instance to an inadvertent oversight. “While I indicated my intellectual debts to Prof. Bayor elsewhere in the text, endnotes and bibliography of the dissertation, I was surprised to see that there was an instance in the introduction in which I failed to do so properly,” Kruse wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. In response to allegations that Kruse plagiarized from his book, Bayor questioned whether such claims even merited discussion.