May 20, 2022
In July 2020, as social justice protests roiled the nation, Joshua Katz, a Princeton classics professor, wrote in a small influential journal that some faculty proposals to combat racism at Princeton would foment “civil war on campus,” and denounced a student group, the Black Justice League, as “a small local terrorist organization” because of its tactics in pushing for institutional changes.
The remarks in Quillette made him a lightning rod in the campus free speech debate, reviled by some who thought what he said was racist, and lionized by others who defended his right to say it. And they sent up a flare that led to scrutiny of other aspects of his life, including his conduct with female students.
In the latest fallout from that debate, Princeton’s president has recommended dismissing Dr. Katz, according to a May 10 letter from the president to the chair of the trustees.
Dr. Katz declined an interview. But his lawyer, Samantha Harris, said she was expecting the trustees to fire him. “In our view, this is the culmination of the witch hunt that began days after Professor Katz published an article in Quillette that led people to call for his termination,” Ms. Harris said.
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