Princeton is preparing to fire a tenured professor who called out woke politics at the Ivy League university, leaning on a second investigation into a consensual relationship with a student more than a decade ago.
Princeton classics professor Joshua Katz, whose criticism of the school’s racial politics made him a target of student protests, was recommended to be stripped of tenure and fired from the board of trustees by University president Christopher Eisgruber, sources told The Washington Free Beacon.
Eisgruber claimed in 2020 that Katz did not exercise his free speech “responsibly.” Now the school is going back to rehash an investigation into a consensual relationship Katz had with a student, for which he was already disciplined in 2018, according to the report.
“When I was a young professor, I had a relationship with a student that violated the University’s rules,” Katz wrote in a statement. “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.
“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,” Katz added in his statement.
The board is expected to accept Eisgruber’s recommendation for ouster, sources told the Free Beacon.
The firing might be a result of Katz’s outspoken objection to Eisgruber’s rebuke of Princeton as a systematically racist institution, critics contend.
“It boggles my mind that anyone would advocate giving people — extraordinarily privileged people already, let me point out: Princeton professors — extra perks for no reason other than their pigmentation,” Katz wrote in a July 2020 essay, where he also denounced a Princeton student group as a “local terrorist organization.”
Katz then wrote in The Wall Street Journal he “survived cancellation” after an investigation into the speech was dropped by the university.
But campus protests continued and a once confidential discipline of Katz’s consensual relationship was leaked to the Daily Princetonian in February 2021, according to the report.
Then the university revisited the investigation into the relationship, despite having already accepted Katz’s serving a year of unpaid leave.
Princeton dean of faculty Gene Jarrett recommended the firing of Katz in November 2021.
“I was already punished — and rightly so,” Katz wrote in his appeal to the second investigation. “I am being subject to double jeopardy.”
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