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Tags: claudine gay | harvard president | antisemitism

Harvard President Gains Support as Fate Hangs in Balance

By    |   Monday, 11 December 2023 06:31 PM EST

Harvard President Claudine Gay appears to be weathering the storm she created by her congressional testimony last week in which she ineffectively denounced threats of violence against Jewish students.

The firestorm created by the testimony of Gay, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and MIT President Sally Kornbluth, in which each responded "it depends on the context" when asked whether calling for the genocide of Jews violated their schools' code of conduct, led to McGill's resignation Saturday.

And more than 70 members of Congress from both parties on Friday released a letter asking for Gay, Magill and Kornbluth to resign, and the White House even condemned their remarks.

But on Monday, the executive committee of the Harvard Alumni Association asked the university's two governing boards in a letter to publicly back Gay. The letter, signed by all 13 members of the executive committee, came on the same day the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers reportedly met to decide Gay's fate.

"We encourage the Fellows of Harvard College and Harvard University's Board of Overseers to join us and issue a strong public pledge of support for our exceptional University President," the letter stated, according to The Harvard Crimson student newspaper.

Also, more than 650 faculty members at Harvard reportedly signed a letter in support of Gay, urging the school to resist calls to fire her. Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe, who said Gay's testimony was "deeply troubling," told CNN on Monday he signed the petition because "once external pressures, whether from ultrawealthy donors or from politicians pursuing their ideological agendas, override the internal decision-making processes of universities, we are on the road to tyranny."

Gay apologized Thursday for her remarks in an interview with The Crimson.

"I am sorry," Gay said. "Words matter. When words amplify distress and pain, I don't know how you could feel anything but regret."

But many high-profile donors to Harvard have been unmoved by her apology, including billionaire hedge fund CEO Bill Ackman, who posted Sunday on X a letter to Harvard's governing boards in which he said Gay "has done more damage to the reputation of Harvard University than any individual in our nearly 500-year history."

"President Gay's failures have led to billions of dollars of cancelled, paused, and withdrawn donations to the university," Ackman wrote. "I am personally aware of more than a billion dollars of terminated donations from a small group of Harvard's most generous Jewish and non-Jewish alumni. I have been copied and blind copied on numerous letters and emails to the University from alums who have written scathing letters to Gay and/or the Board withdrawing donations."

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Harvard President Claudine Gay appears to be weathering the storm she created by her congressional testimony last week in which she ineffectively denounced threats of violence against Jewish students.
claudine gay, harvard president, antisemitism
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2023-31-11
Monday, 11 December 2023 06:31 PM
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