I revere Princeton University. Going there was a life-changing and formative experience which I have always treasured. The recent uproar concerning Professor Joshua Katz is, however, deeply disturbing (“Princeton Trustees Fire Classics Professor Joshua Katz,” published online May 23, 2022).
Katz is no saint. By his own admission, he engaged in improper and stupid conduct. But dredging up old misconduct for which he had been severely disciplined years ago, and seeming to discipline him for expressing opinions on issues of public concern on which reasonable people could differ, is disgraceful and unworthy of a great university.
I had a perhaps-naive hope that Princeton had avoided the self-immolation being experienced at so many universities. My hope was in vain.
Princeton remains in my heart and memory as “the best old place of all,” but it seems to have embraced the current fashion for “woke” politics, which is the present iteration of McCarthyism.