Annual State of the University letter addresses free speech, institutional racism

Monday, Feb 8, 2021

By Caitlin Limestahl and Katherine Dailey at The Daily Princetonian

In his State of the University letter published today, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 weighed in on “heated debates” surrounding free speech, addressed calls for him to condemn community members, and looked ahead for the fall.

Eisgruber wrote in the letter that, while all undergraduates were invited back to campus, campus life has remained very different from years past. However, he expressed optimism about the fall semester.

“Much remains uncertain, but, as the vaccine rollout continues, we are planning for the fall with the expectation and intention of resuming fully in-person residential instruction,” he wrote.

“We will have to monitor and heed public health guidance as we decide when other campus activities — conferences, lectures, and the full panoply of intellectual colloquy — can resume,” he added.

While the annual State of the University letter typically discusses plans for the coming semester, Eisgruber instead chose to focus and reflect on Princeton’s institutional values in the wake of racial reckoning, political turmoil, and challenges wrought by the pandemic.