University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 charged the executive committee of the Council of the Princeton University Committee with developing recommendations to improve the University’s policies and practices regarding diversity, inclusion and equity on campus during a meeting on Monday afternoon. The meeting took place in a packed McCosh 10, a larger venue than usual.
The student community at the University should stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Mo., and not remain silent in complicit violence, six student leaders announced to a packed auditorium in Frist Campus Center on Monday night.The presentation's call to action challenged campus community members to stand in the nation's service and fight for justice, ending with the mantra "No justice, no peace." The meeting took place a week after hundreds of University students protested the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting an unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson.
Princeton’s new 1,265-square-foot Dinky train station located across from Forbes College and 460 feet south of its original location began operating on Monday, marking an important milestone in the University’s Arts and Transit Project. The Arts and Transit Project is a $330 million development involving new arts buildings, dining services, transportation facilities and other amenities. The new Wawa convenience store built next to the new station will open Friday with uninterrupted services, according to the University’s website. In addition to its “dramatic” new design, the station features an air-conditioned and heated waiting area, restrooms, information kiosks and bike racks, according to the University website.
John Doar ’44, a prominent civil rights lawyer who fought for the rights of African-Americans in the 1960s and who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts in 2012, died in New York, N.Y., on Tuesday.
A new University websiteoutlining the roles of strategic planning task forces and their preliminary reports will allow community members to stay informed about the planning process and provide input, University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 said during this month’s Council of the Princeton University Community meeting. Eisgruber launched the strategic planning process in January with the purpose of creating a flexible, iterative and dynamic framework for future decision-making by January 2016. The new website will be updated periodically and includes summaries of each task force and a list of its members. “There will be both formal and informal opportunities to comment on what the task forces are doing,” Eisgruber said, noting that the community can contact task force members directly or submit a comment to the website, which will be redirected to the appropriate correspondent. “You’re free to make it your homepage,” Eisgruber said, spurring laughter from the audience. The final strategic planning document will highlight the University’s priorities; identify challenges, opportunities and risks; and describe the University’s resource envelope, Eisgruber said. “[The document] is a way to evaluate choices rather than a statement of what the choices are and will be,” Eisgruber said, adding that he expects different task forces to operate on varying timelines. The task force recommendations do not automatically become part of the campus plan but are first vetted and judged against the University framework, Eisgruber explained. Task force members were chosen based on their expertise regarding the specific issue and include undergraduate and graduate students for projects such as graduate student housing, Eisgruber said. He also said the University will be paying close attention to the opportunity costs of various decisions, especially given the recent impact of the financial crisis. “We need to be thinking about what sorts of options we have and how the selection of one option or another option is going to constrain choices in the future,” Eisgruber said. He said that individual departments also engage in planning on a regular basis and that he expects additional task forces to be formed in the future as new issues arise. University Provost David Lee GS ’99 said the University is currently in a solid financial position with a market endowment value of $21 billion as of June 2014 and a very solid credit rating. “We have for quite some time had a very generous donor base,” Lee said.
University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 discussed various issues, including plans to expand the undergraduate student body, the University’s recently modified sexual assault policy and the relocation of the University's Dinky station during his second annual meeting with town mayor Liz Lempert and other town council representatives on Monday night. Eisgruber said the University is currently engaged in strategic planning and campus planning processes to possibly expand the University’s undergraduate student body due to its historically low acceptance rate and natural growth imperatives, such as the increasing popularity of computer science. He added that expanding the student body would allow the University to improve opportunities for students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. “We have to be engaged in conversation as we move forward,” Eisgruber said of the expansion’s impact on the town.
The announcement that the University’s Office of Technology Licensingestablishedthe position of executive in residence to help commercialize its research comes in the midst of alawsuitagainst the University regarding its tax-exempt status. Local plaintiffs, who filed the suit in 2011, cite the University’s commercialized research revenue as a reason to increase its tax duties, leading some community members to interpret the creation of the new position as a recognition of the University’s corporate priorities. Although the University does not pay taxes on most of its property, it spends about$10 million a yearon taxes for nonexempt properties and voluntarily pays taxes on some graduate student housing, making it the largest tax contributor in town. “They’re being sued in a nationally renowned lawsuit over abusing tax-exempt privileges,” the plaintiffs’ representative and Princeton-based lawyer Bruce Afran said of the University.