Princeton University 'Reviewing' Plagiarism Allegations Against Woke Professor

University has not said whether it will open a full investigation into Kevin Kruse

Princeton history professor Kevin Kruse / Wikimedia Commons
August 3, 2022

Princeton University is "reviewing" the plagiarism allegations against progressive history professor Kevin Kruse, the university's student newspaper reported on Tuesday—over half a year after they were first raised.

"We are carefully reviewing the concerns that have been shared with the University, and will handle them in accordance with University policy," Princeton University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss told Daily Princetonian. Hotchkiss did not say whether Princeton would open a full investigation into the allegations.

The review follows months of silence by the university, which says it "overlooked" a December 6 email from the economic historian Phil Magness about possible instances of plagiarism in Kruse's academic work. Magness didn't receive a substantive reply from the university until June 17, three days after he published an article in Reason outlining the evidence that Kruse repeatedly plagiarized other scholars' books.

"We take such allegations very seriously, and we will carefully consider the concerns you have raised," Deputy Dean of the Faculty Toni Turano told Magness in an email reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. "Please feel free to send us any additional information to explain and support your allegations."

In public, Princeton has been much less solicitous. It has not posted an official statement on any university website, nor did it reply to Reason's or the Free Beacon's requests for comment when the story first broke.

The hushed delays accentuate the contrast between Princeton's treatment of Kruse and its treatment of Joshua Katz, the star classics professor who criticized the school's racial politics. University officials condemned Katz—and implied publicly they were investigating him—days after he published his criticisms in a July 2020 essay for Quillette. When they received "new information" about a consensual relationship he'd had with a student over a decade earlier, it took them less than a month to launch a formal investigation, which resulted in his dismissal in May.

The contrast between Katz and Kruse has raised eyebrows among alumni and current students, who say it suggests a political double standard at the Ivy League school.

"​​Will Professor Kruse face Katz's fate—stripped of tenure and fired?" Princeton senior Abigail Anthony asked in National Review. "If so, Princeton students will learn a lesson in whom not to copy from. If not, they will learn instead that the rules don't apply to the people with power and the 'correct' opinions."

Kruse has made a name for himself by accusing conservatives—especially Christian conservatives—of distorting history, prompting the Chronicle of Higher Education to dub him "history's attack dog." Those attacks became less frequent after the plagiarism allegations came to light: Kruse, who would regularly post Twitter threads attacking Republicans, has not been active on the platform since June 14.