President Eisgruber’s annual State of the University letter, 2024

Written by
Office of University Communications
Jan. 19, 2024

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber on Thursday, Jan. 18, sent his annual State of the University letter to faculty, students and staff, calling Princeton “stronger than ever” and urging all Princetonians to serve as ambassadors for the University and for the value of higher education in America.

“Antagonism toward higher education has been especially intense over the last three months,” Eisgruber wrote. “We must speak up for what we do and for our extraordinary institutions, which are so valuable to learning, to research, and to the future of our nation and the world.”

Reflecting on the past year, Eisgruber noted a number of Princeton achievements, including: pathbreaking scholarship and research of faculty across disciplines; ongoing undergraduate expansion and an increase in the socioeconomic diversity of the student body; historic improvements to undergraduate financial aid, graduate student stipends and postdoctoral salaries; construction of new facilities for the School of Engineering and Applied Science and Environmental Studies, Princeton University Art Museum, Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute and other projects; and the establishment of an artificial intelligence hub in partnership with Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Even amid this progress, Eisgruber said, institutions like Princeton and its peers are confronting “a challenging political landscape that demands the attention of anyone who cares about higher education. During the past year, we have seen increasingly virulent threats to academic freedom and institutional autonomy, two core principles that have made America’s universities the envy of the world.” 

Reaffirming Princeton’s commitments to excellence, free expression and inclusivity, Eisgruber urged the University community to “be an ambassador for Princeton and for higher education. Tell the story of how Princeton mattered in your life, about the excellence that you see, and about the shared and distinctive mission of colleges and universities in our republic.”

The State of the University letter is posted to the University website.

Two open meetings scheduled

To provide opportunities for community discussion of the topics in the letter, Eisgruber will discuss the letter and invite questions at two upcoming open meetings.

  • All students, faculty and members of the broader University community are invited to join the upcoming meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), which will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in the Frist Campus Center multipurpose room. In the question-and-answer period for this meeting, priority will be given to council members and to student questioners.
  • A Town Hall for University staff members will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Richardson Auditorium. The University will provide employees with paid release time so they can attend this meeting during normal work hours, subject to supervisory approval in order to maintain normal operations.