Nassau Hall cupola against a blue sky

Academic Freedom and Free Expression

Free speech is a demanding value, not an easy one. We all have an obligation to wrestle with its meaning and understand the responsibilities that it imposes upon us.

President Christopher L. Eisgruber

From foreword to Princeton Pre-Read edition of Professor Keith E. Whittington’s "Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech"

Tiger gargoyle with snow on Campbell Hall
Architecture Building abstract sculpture

Policies & Guidelines

Statement on Freedom of Expression, from the University’s Rights, Rules, Responsibilities 1.1.3

Guidance on protests and free expression, from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students

Addressing concerns on freedom of expression, from the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity

Council of the Princeton University Community charter, Chapter 8, on freedom of inquiry, expression, publication and association

Association of American Universities Statement on Academic Freedom, from AAU 2013 Statement on Academic Principles

"Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of the University, Princeton University fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the University community ‘to discuss any problem that presents itself.' "

Statement on Freedom of Expression

“…universities should foster rigorous, constructive, truth-seeking discussions about questions of consequence. In other words, in addition to permitting people to speak freely, we should study questions that matter, not just any questions; we should proceed according to standards and with methods likely to distinguish better arguments from worse ones; and we should treat one another with the kind of courtesy and respect that allow us to learn from each other, despite our differences in both viewpoint and background.”

President Eisgruber

From "Contested Civility: Free Speech & Inclusivity on Campus"


Christopher L. Eisgruber
Tiger in front of Nassau Hall

Leadership Communications

"Let your voices rise," President Eisgruber's address to graduates at Princeton's Commencement exercises, May 30, 2023

"Princeton’s Tradition of Institutional Restraint," President Eisgruber’s President's Page column in the Princeton Alumni Weekly, November 7, 2022

President's Remarks for Freshman Orientation Session on Free Expression, September 1, 2022

President's Letter: The State of the University, February 2021, on Free Speech and Truth Seeking

Why mutual respect makes free speech better, President Eisgruber’s 2020 opinion piece for The Daily Princetonian

Contested Civility: Free Speech & Inclusivity on Campus,” President Eisgruber’s Inaugural Arlin M. Adams Lecture on Law, Religion, and the First Amendment at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Tuesday, November 12, 2019

President Eisgruber’s Foreword to "Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech,” from the 2018 Princeton Pre-Read edition of Professor Keith E. Whittington’s book

Fountain of Freedom by James FitzGerald

"I agree strongly with Justice Brandeis — and I do regard the educational and constitutional traditions as wedded here — that the remedy for bad speech is more speech."

President Eisgruber

From an interview in The Atlantic, October 2021

Chancellor Green skylight