“[Y]ou need both free speech and inclusivity for a university to succeed. You need people to feel free to express their opinions, even when those opinions may be disagreeable to people or offensive to people around them, but you also need people from all sectors of society genuinely feeling empowered to come to the table and feeling that their voices are respected. So getting a robust discussion isn’t just about unfettered speech, it’s also about inclusivity and making sure that the variety of voices are present at the table.” – President Christopher L. Eisgruber, “The View from 1 Nassau Hall,” Princeton Alumni Weekly, September 12, 2018.
Princeton supports the free and open exchange of ideas among members of our community and believes that free speech is essential to university life. Toward that end, our Statement on Freedom of Expression serves as the foundation upon which our ideals stand. See also the University's Policy on the Classroom Learning Environment at section V.I in the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty.
In limited instances the University may restrict expression that violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, or constitutes a genuine threat or harassment. Incidents of harassing verbal or physical conduct that implicate an individual’s protected identity characteristics (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.) may be covered by the University’s Policy on Discrimination and/or Harassment. To learn more, visit our FAQ.
The following materials were compiled to accompany President Eisgruber’s 2018 Pre-Read book selection, “Speak Freely,” and serve as a resource to all members of the University community illuminate the tensions that exist within the field of free speech.