Eisgruber provides update on expansion, renovations, policy issues

In his third annual “State of the University” letter, President Eisgruber ’83 elaborated on his vision for Princeton’s future — from the addition of two residential colleges and expansion of the undergraduate student body in 2022, to a new two-week “Wintersession” term set to begin in 2021, to the construction of academic buildings and other facilities. He also shared his thoughts on several hot-button topics in higher education, including immigration, admissions, and sexual-misconduct policy.

 Discussing a lawsuit that alleges Harvard impermissibly discriminated against Asian American applicants, Eisgruber noted that similar allegations were made against Princeton. Those allegations were investigated in 2015 by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, which found no evidence Princeton used race and national origin in admissions “in a discriminatory manner.” “I expect that Harvard, too, is complying with the strictest standards of constitutional law,” he said in the letter, released Feb. 6.

Eisgruber said he disagrees with the notion that admissions officers should place more emphasis on test scores.

Eisgruber said he disagrees with the notion that admissions officers should place more emphasis on test scores and grades when evaluating applicants. “I believe that ‘merit’ means having the intellect, the imagination, the experience, the character, and the grit to benefit from a Princeton education,” he wrote. “Test scores provide some useful evidence, but not the only evidence or the best evidence of relevant traits and abilities.”

The president also expressed reservations about changes to Title IX guidelines proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, saying they would put pressure on Princeton to make “significant modifications” to its current procedures for sexual-misconduct investigations. He criticized the politicization of sexual harassment “from both sides of the partisan spectrum.”

Updating the community on previously reported expansion and renovation projects, Eisgruber noted that Princeton is seeking an architect to begin renovations at McCosh Hall and is planning to build a new recreation and fitness space. He said he remains optimistic that projects already in the design phase will remain on schedule despite the recent market volatility.

To read the letter, go to http://bit.ly/eisgruber-letter-19.