Claudine Gay will remain in her role as Harvard University’s president following a controversial congressional hearing. On Dec. 12, the Ivy League school’s governing board reaffirmed support for Gay.
“As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University. 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. President Gay has apologized for how she handled her congressional testimony and has committed to redoubling the University’s fight against antisemitism,” the Harvard Corporation said in a statement.
Gay, who is Harvard’s first Black president, appeared at a House hearing last week that centered around Anti-Semitic views from some students on campus. She was joined by her counterparts at University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. pressed each president on the issues of antisemitism on campuses.
Gay responded by saying, “We embrace a commitment to free expression even of views that are objectionable, offensive, hateful — it’s when that speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies against bullying, harassment, intimidation.”
Some took issue with Gay’s response. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman used racial rhetoric by claiming Gay was only hired because of a DEI initiative.
Gay responded to her testimony by issuing an apology in Harvard’s newspaper The Crimson saying, “I got caught up in what had become at that point, an extended, combative exchange about policies and procedures. I failed to convey what is my truth.”
But Gay would receive overwhelming support from Harvard’s faculty as 700 members signed a letter urging administrators to resist any call for Gay to be removed from her position as president.
In the letter, faculty members wrote, “We urge you in the strong possible terms to defend the independence of the university and to resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom, including calls for the removal of President Claudine Gay.”
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