President Eisgruber ’83 apologized on behalf of the University for AN INSTRUCTOR’S USE OF HUMAN REMAINS in an online course on forensic anthropology posted last fall. Janet Monge, a former visiting lecturer at Princeton and a curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, examined the remains of a victim of the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, a police raid and fire that killed 11 people, including five children. The video has been removed from Coursera, an online learning site. In a statement posted April 28, Eisgruber wrote that he had “authorized a fact-finding effort, to be conducted by outside counsel, to help us gain a complete understanding of the scope and nature of Princeton’s role in the handling of the remains and related issues.”
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the remains were analyzed after the bombing by Alan Mann, then a professor at Penn, and kept at the Penn Museum. Mann later was on the Princeton faculty, from 2001 to 2015. The Penn Museum has pledged to return the remains to survivors in the Africa family, to whom the remains are believed to belong.
Politics professor Keith Whittington, the interim director of Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs, was named to President Joe Biden’s COMMISSION ON THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, established by executive order in April. The 36-member group will analyze “the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform,” according to a White House press release. Also named to the commission were alumni Heather Gerken ’91, dean of Yale Law School; Rick Pildes ’79, a professor at New York University School of Law; and Bertrall Ross *03, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
A new CENTER FOR GENDER AND SEXUALITY at Frist Campus Center will launch in fall 2021, maintaining current services and staff from the Women*s Center and LGBT Center while allowing for expanded programming that relates to the intersections of gender and sexual identity. (According to its website, the Women*s Center “replaced its apostrophe with an asterisk to suggest that we are much more than our name implies: the Center is not just for women nor is it just about women.”) The new center “will be better able to carry out our mission to eliminate discrimination and injustice at Princeton based on sex, gender, and sexual identity,” said LaTanya Buck, dean for diversity and inclusion in the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, in a University release.
IN MEMORIAM ROBERT B. HOLLANDER ’55, a longtime professor of European literature whose popular courses on Dante inspired generations of students, died April 20 at age 87. Hollander joined the Princeton faculty in 1961 and taught in the departments of French and Italian and comparative literature, chairing the latter from 1994 to 1998. He also was head of Butler College from 1991 to 1995. The East Pyne seminar room where Hollander taught The Divine Comedy was rechristened “the Dante Room,” and alumni of the course regularly gathered at Reunions, reciting and discussing different passages each year. Hollander and his wife, poet Jean Hollander, published a three-volume annotated translation of The Divine Comedy.
IN MEMORIAM SOHAIB SULTAN, the University’s first full-time Muslim chaplain, died April 16 of cancer. He was 40. Sultan joined the Office of Religious Life in 2008, starting the Muslim Life Program on campus. After his cancer diagnosis last spring, he continued to preach and posted a blog of reflections, both spiritual and medical. “Over the years he was a marvelous instructor to all of us in how to live,” the Rev. Alison Boden, dean of religious life and the Chapel, wrote in a remembrance. “In his last year he taught us even more so how to die.”