The letter is part of an intense national debate over the nation’s racial history and how that has shaped the present, with protests over racial injustices flaring up across the country in recent months and dueling efforts to reemphasize the contributions of the Founding Fathers or to more directly confront the impact of slavery.
This month, Princeton’s president wrote about efforts to combat systemic racism on campus and beyond, such as diversifying the school’s faculty and making Princeton a more welcoming place. Even though the university had committed itself for at least the past 50 years to become more inclusive, “racism and the damage it does to people of color nevertheless persist at Princeton as in our society,” Christopher L. Eisgruber wrote.
Two weeks later, the Education Department sent the university a letter disclosing its investigation. “On September 2, 2020, you admitted Princeton’s educational program is and for decades has