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University Presidents Testify In House Hearing On Campus Antisemitism

Source: Kevin Dietsch / Getty

The board at Harvard University affirmed that its first Black president, Claudine Gay, will be staying on after calls for her to resign

On Tuesday (Dec. 12), members of the Harvard Corporation announced that they had decided that Dr. Claudine Gay would be staying on as president of Harvard University. There was a concerted effort calling for her to resign in the wake of her answers last week as she appeared before a congressional hearing over rising antisemitism.

Dr. Gay appeared before a congressional hearing called by the House Committee on Education Tuesday (Dec. 5) along with two other university presidents –  Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania and Sally Kornbluth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Republican Representative Elise Stefanik of New York pressed Dr. Gay with hypothetical questions. “At Harvard,” Ms. Stefanik asked, “does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment? Yes or no?” Dr. Gay answered, “It can be, depending on the context.” After another similar answer, numerous alumni called for Gay to resign as Magill did after her appearance on Capitol Hill.

“As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University,” said a statement signed by each member of the board with the exception of Dr. 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.” The statement did go on to acknowledge that Dr. Gay had erred a few times in response to the conflict in Gaza sparked by the Hamas militant organization’s terror attack on Oct. 7. Acknowledging that she had been caught up by her exchange with Stefanik, Dr. Gay did say in the Harvard Crimson that she should’ve planned to “return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community — threats to our Jewish students — have no place at Harvard and will never go unchallenged.”

Dr. Gay did have a slew of supporters, particularly from Black faculty members at the university who deemed the attacks by Stefanik as “specious and politically motivated.” They along with hundreds of alumni petitioned that she “should be given the chance to fulfill her term to demonstrate her vision for Harvard.”

Harvard University Votes To Keep Dr. Claudine Gay As President  was originally published on hiphopwired.com