Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Demanding Harvard, MIT Presidents Resign

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 - 09:40 PM

Update (1640ET): Hours after Harvard announced they won't fire President Claudine Gay for refusing to condemn antisemitism on campus, as well as being a serial plagiarist, a bipartisan group of four House lawmakers are set to introduce a resolution Tuesday which denounces antisemitism at universities, NBC News reports.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., has teamed up with Democrats to condemn the university presidents' testimony.Graeme Sloan / Sipa USA via AP

The resolution, first obtained by NBC News, is authored by House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; the three other lead sponsors are Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and two Jewish American Democrats, Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Florida.

The resolution comes exactly one week after the presidents of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania came under fire after they appeared at a House hearing and dodged questions from Stefanik about whether students calling for the genocide of Jews violated school codes of conduct and should be punished.

Over the weekend, Elizabeth Magill, President of UPenn, resigned over her testimony to a House committee in which she refused to commit to an answer. Harvard's governing body, however, said on Tuesday that Gay would keep her job.

"There is a reason why the testimony at the Education and Workforce Committee garnered 1 billion views worldwide. And it’s because those university presidents made history by putting the most morally bankrupt testimony into the Congressional Record, and the world saw it," said Stafanik at a press conference earlier in the day.

Rep. Moskwitz of Florida said in a statement that he university presidents failed to answer a "softball" question.

"Does calling for the genocide of Jews count as harassment under their school’s policies?’ That’s not a trick question, and it’s infuriating that these leaders of young people would try to equivocate with some nonsense about ‘it depends on the context,'" said Moskowitz, adding: "Sub out Jews for any other persecuted minority group and they would never have given that answer."

*  *  *

Harvard minority president Claudine Gay., who checks box in the "Diversity checklist", will keep her job after a week of calls for her ouster, after 700 faculty members signed a petition urging the school's leadership to overlook her answers last week to Congress regarding antisemitism on campus, as well as allegations that she's a prolific plagiarist.

"As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University," reads a statement from Harvard's board signed by all members except for Gay. "Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing."

During Tuesday testimony in front of the US House Education and the Workforce Committee, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a Harvard grad, asked the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT whether "calling for the genocide of Jews" violates their schools' code of conduct or constitutes bullying or harassment, referring to calls for "intifada" chanted during several school protests.

Gay, along with the other presidents of said woke colleges, refused to commit to an answer - instead saying that it 'depends on the context.'

Stefanik responded in a Tuesday post to X, sayig "There have been absolutely no updates to @Harvard’s code of conduct  to condemn the calls for genocide of Jews and protect Jewish students on campus," adding "The only update to Harvard’s code of conduct is to allow plagiarists as president."

The board also said it had reviewed allegations of plagiarism by Gay in October, and that an independent review "revealed a few instances of inadequate citation."

On Sunday, journalists Chris Rufo and Chris Brunet posted evidence on X, including portions of Gay's Ph.D. thesis.

In response, billionaire investor Bill Ackman penned a scathing open letter to Harvard's governing board of directors, where he reiterated his call for Claudine Gay to be removed.

"In her short tenure as President, Claudine Gay has done more damage to the reputation of Harvard University than any individual in our nearly 500-year history," the Harvard alumnus wrote on X, adding that Gay had "catalyzed an explosion of antisemitism and hate on campus that is unprecedented in Harvard's history."

Besides focusing on Gay's handling of on-campus antisemitism, Ackman's letter also accused her of presiding over "discriminatory hiring practices at Harvard."

"The faculty have been told in no uncertain terms that candidates that do not meet DEI criteria will not be considered for certain faculty positions," he wrote.

Gay apologized for her statements last week during the House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, which however did not help her equal at UPenn, Liz Magill, who resigned over the weekend for exactly the same comments. Perhaps Magill wasn't black enough, or didn't have sufficiently diverse glasses?

As an aside, according to Bill Ackman - who tends to see everything in a self-reflexive light - he was a factor in Harvard's decision.