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A message from President Gitenstein on the legacy of Dr. Paul Loser

To the Campus Community:

In the last two days, aspects of Dr. Paul Loser’s past have been brought into focus on campus. The information that was shared first in posters and later in news articles is due to the diligent archival research of several of our students. I congratulate the students and their faculty mentor for having brought light to this important historical era.

Dr. Loser, namesake of Paul Loser Hall, was a former superintendent of the Trenton Public Schools. In their research, our students documented that he espoused beliefs that run counter to our commitment to an inclusive campus.

Many institutions across the country are grappling with similar circumstances. TCNJ must be thoughtful in understanding the full historical context but forthright in confronting the facts. Like other institutions, we must decide what is the most productive plan of action when we learn that our campus has honored someone whose belief system is inconsistent with our mission, including building an inclusive community of learners.

To start the conversation, Provost Taylor has reached out to the faculty mentor and the research students. We have already received excellent research documentation and have asked to meet with the students to learn more. We are hoping they will be willing to participate in campus presentations on the matter. We will keep you informed about the next steps.

This conversation is an important one and should be seen as one aspect of our commitment to Sustained Dialogue and to the first priority in our strategic plan. And while we are proud of the progress we have made, there is much left to do.


R. Barbara Gitenstein