Statement by Princeton Professor Joshua Katz

Statement by Princeton Professor Joshua Katz

Following is a statement that Professor Joshua Katz has made available today to Princetonians for Free Speech (PFS). For background, please see these two PFS editorials and a retired faculty member’s letter to the editor of the Daily Princetonian -- which it has neither published nor acknowledged.

When I was a young professor, I had a relationship with a student that violated the University’s rules. It was a consensual relationship. It did not involve – nor has anyone ever suggested that it involved – any coercion, harassment, or quid pro quo. Nonetheless, it was wrong, and I am ashamed of my past conduct. 

Long after the relationship ended, it was brought to the attention of the University. When the university initiated its investigation, I immediately provided a complete, truthful, and genuinely remorseful account of what had happened. I have fully and willingly complied with all of the requirements imposed by the University as the result of my conduct, including a yearlong unpaid suspension and continued counseling. I have learned from my mistakes. 

I have never come anywhere close to crossing this type of line with another student. I have, however, been a friend over the years to many students, male and female alike. In one instance, it was brought to my attention years after the fact that a student had felt uncomfortable having such a close personal friendship with a faculty member. After investigating the matter, the University determined that I had not violated any of its policies, but counseled me on the appropriate boundaries of faculty-student friendships.

I have been properly held accountable by the University for my conduct. I regret this conduct, and I am deeply grateful for the University’s continuing faith in me as a teacher, scholar, and adviser. 

While I realize that some may still have questions, this statement is as full an account as I can give of these events while respecting the privacy of all concerned.