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House Bipartisan Resolution Calls for President Gay’s Resignation Following Harvard Corporation Backing

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik '06 authored a resolution calling for Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally A. Kornbluth to resign.
Rep. Elise M. Stefanik '06 authored a resolution calling for Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally A. Kornbluth to resign. By Miles J. Herszenhorn
By Azusa M. Lippit and Sophia C. Scott, Crimson Staff Writers

Four prominent lawmakers introduced a resolution Tuesday calling on University President Claudine Gay to resign following her congressional testimony on antisemitism, even as Harvard’s top governing board announced earlier that day that she would remain in her role.

The resolution also called for the resignation of MIT President Sally A. Kornbluth, who also testified at the hearing. University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill stepped down from her role on Saturday following backlash over her testimony.

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik ’06 (R-N.Y.) — the fourth-ranking House Republican — authored the resolution, which was co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), and Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.).

The resolution comes after a week of intense scrutiny of Gay following the hearing, with newly surfaced allegations of plagiarism and calls to resign from alumni, donors, and more than 70 lawmakers.

Tuesday morning, however, the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing board — broke its silence, voicing unanimous support for Gay to remain in office. MIT’s governing board also released a statement in “full and unreserved support” of Kornbluth Thursday.

The resolution “strongly condemns the rise of antisemitism on university campuses around the country” and Magill, Gay, and Kornbluth for their “failure to clearly state that calls for the genocide of Jews constitute harassment and violate their institutions’ codes of conduct.”

The House is expected to vote on the resolution this week, according to Stefanik’s office.

“This is not a partisan issue but a question of moral clarity,” she said in a press release Tuesday.

Harvard spokesperson Jonathan L. Swain declined to comment on the resolution. MIT spokesperson Kimberly C. Allen wrote in a statement that the university and Kornbluth “reject antisemitism in all its forms.”

“Our senior leaders are working to stay focused on keeping campus safe and functioning,” Allen wrote.

Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth were widely criticized for their testimony last week, in particular facing immense backlash over their responses to questioning from Stefanik about whether calling for the genocide of Jews would violate their universities’ policies.

In the press release, Scalise said Stefanik’s question during the hearing was “not a hard question — in fact, it was probably the easiest question.”

“The abject failure of these presidents to defend even the most basic of human rights — the right to exist — against hypocritical wokeism exposed the moral bankruptcy at these elite universities to the world,” Scalise said in the release.

Two days after Gay’s testimony, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce launched a congressional investigation into antisemitism on Harvard’s campus. Gay also apologized for her remarks during an interview with The Crimson.

“These are Ivy League university presidents that were asked a softball question: ‘Does calling for the genocide of Jews count as harassment under their school’s policies?’” Moskowitz said in the press release. “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.’”

“Sub out Jews for any other persecuted minority group and they would never have given that answer. They failed the test, and just like their students there are no makeups,” he added.

—Staff writer Azusa M. Lippit can be reached at azusa.lippit@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @azusalippit or on Threads @azusalippit.

—Staff writer Sophia C. Scott can be reached at sophia.scott@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X at @ScottSophia_.

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