TO: All Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, and Staff
FROM: Jill Dolan, Dean of the College
Rod Priestley, Dean of the Graduate School
Gene Jarrett, Dean of the Faculty
W. Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life
Romy Riddick, Vice President for Human Resources
RE: A Call for Respect and Care
October 22, 2023
Dear colleagues and students,
We write as Princeton returns from fall break to acknowledge the anguish and distress felt by so many of us because of the profound suffering of Israelis, Palestinians, and many others as a result of the recent terrorist attack and war in Israel and Gaza, and the escalating conflicts at the Israel-Lebanon border and elsewhere.
Over the break, we’ve seen a few attempts by outside activists to inflame and divide the Princeton community, levying false accusations against some of our members. We’re also aware of a few interpersonal provocations in various campus spaces.
Many members of the Princeton community have engaged in thoughtful, civil, and respectful recognition of the anguish caused by these events. We share here once again President Eisgruber’s message from last week.
We are a residential academic community, fundamentally tied by our commitment to teaching, to learning, and to research. We hope you’ll engage our extensive resources to ponder ways to absorb and perhaps try to ameliorate this human tragedy.
We urge us all to continue to be civil with one another. We are not one another’s enemies. We are people bound by our proximity in time and space and by our shared commitment to Princeton’s values and its motto: to be in service to our nation and to humanity.
That motto includes us all. We urge you not to launch ad hominen attacks nor to otherwise use hatred or bad will as modes of engagement. Many of us experience this devastating loss of life and the intensifying war in a deeply personal way. In times like these, we must demonstrate both grace and compassion for one another.
Princeton is replete with intellectual, psychological, and emotional resources to help us all move through this difficult moment. We can attend panel discussions (SPIA has sponsored two talks [here and here] and will certainly offer more); read and write research and opinions; and debate all arguments with civility and respect for our different backgrounds and positions.
Please be respectful and kind to one another. Reach out to any or all of us with your concerns and your care, your ideas and your wisdom. We join you in hoping for peace and a resolution to these heartbreaking conflicts, knowing that the days ahead will continue to be wrenching.
Deans Jill Dolan, Rod Priestley, and Gene Jarrett
and Vice Presidents W. Rochelle Calhoun and Romy Riddick