top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

If you want to speak up, you’d better be a saint

Princeton’s president wants to fire a tenured classics professor, but claims it’s not because he criticized “anti-racist” proposals, reports Anemona Hartocollis in the New York Times.

Joshua Katz teaches classics at Princeton.

No, says the university. Joshua Katz is accused of “failure to be totally forthcoming about a sexual relationship with a student 15 years ago that he has already been punished for.”

“The message could not be more clear to dissenting voices on the faculty,” writes Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. “If you speak up, any past grievance or issue can be dug up to seek your termination.”

Katz became persona non grata when he questioned a proposal in a “faculty letter” to offer special perks for professors “of color,” including a summer salary and additional sabbatical time. In a Quillette article, Katz criticized offering “extra perks for no reason other than … pigmentation.”

Many called for Katz to be fired, writes Turley. Princeton “featured Katz in a mandatory freshman orientation video that included a ‘Race and Free Speech’ section in which he is condemned as a racist.”

Katz had been suspended for a year in 2018 for a consensual relationship with a student many years earlier.  The university reopened the case and found two new violations of school policy.

If you want to speak up, you’d better be a saint.

Update: Princeton has fired Katz. Here’s his response.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page