Princeton president recommends firing professor under investigation for sexual misconduct

An Ivy League professor under investigation for sexual misconduct is facing possible termination from Princeton University in what critics say is a politically motivated maneuver.

Last week, the president of the university recommended to the board of trustees that classics professor Dr. firing Joshua Katz in connection with a relationship he had with a student in 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Katz was suspended over the relationship after an investigation in 2018 found she had violated school policies, and a subsequent investigation by the school newspaper last year led to another investigation finding that the professor was not initially fully cooperative and misled investigators, according to the article.

The second inquiry came shortly after Katz criticized faculty proposals to address Princeton’s racist history following the police killing of George Floyd, leading his allies to accuse the university of targeting him for his outspoken criticism of the school’s liberal staff to have, according to the report.

Katz wrote an online essay in July 2020 saying an open letter signed by students, staff and alumni calling for a committee to investigate racism on campus would lead to crackdowns on free speech, and said , he was “embarrassed” for his colleagues signed it.

His op-ed also called the Black Justice League student a “minor terrorist organization” after she successfully lobbied for former President Woodrow Wilson’s name to be removed from the public policy school.

“When voicing an unpopular opinion is an invitation to introspect your personal life
looking for damaging evidence, how many people will be willing to speak up?” his attorney Samantha Harris asked the newspaper.

Days later, President Christopher Eisgruber countered in his own editorial that Katz’s comments were “irresponsible and offensive.”

Princeton President Christopher Ludwig Eisgruber addressed his recommendation to the University Board of Trustees.
Princeton President Christopher Ludwig Eisgruber addressed his recommendation to the University Board of Trustees.
Sameer A. Khan

Faculty Dean Gene Jarrett, who signed Eisgruber’s recent letter calling for Katz’s firing, had reportedly previously denied that politics was a factor in the school’s second investigation into Katz.

“The current political climate of the university, whether perceived or real, is not relevant to the case, nor does it play a role in my recommendation,” wrote Dr. Jarrett reportedly in the summary of the investigation.

A faculty committee commissioned by Eisgruber to review Jarrett’s investigation ruled that it was fair and concluded that “dismissal is not an improper recommendation,” according to the article.

Still, the professor’s impending possible termination angered advocates of free speech.

“Princeton will have sent a message by firing Professor Katz,” said Edward Yingling, co-founder of Princetonians for Free Speech.

“If a faculty member or student says something contrary to our orthodoxy, we will get you – if not for what you said then by twisting your language, using the university’s extensive resources to get you in front of the student body shame, and so on. Examine your personal life over the past few years.”

The board of trustees did not respond to a request for comment but said it was unusual to discuss personnel matters.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/20/princeton-president-recommends-firing-professor-who-was-under-sexual-misconduct-probe/ Princeton president recommends firing professor under investigation for sexual misconduct

JACLYN DIAZ

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