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Harvard supports university president after controversial testimony

Harvard President Claudine Gay testifying before the House Committee on Education Associated Press/Photo by Mark Schiefelbein

Harvard supports university president after controversial testimony

The university’s highest governing body threw its support behind President Claudine Gay on Tuesday following her testimony regarding anti-Semitism on campus. Lawmakers and Jewish leaders have called for Gay’s resignation after she failed to conclusively answer whether calls for a genocide of Jews violated Harvard’s code of conduct. The Harvard Corporation noted that Gay has apologized for the poor testimony while calling her “the right leader to help our community heal.” Gay gave an interview with Harvard’s student newspaper, saying, “I’m sorry. … Words matter.” The Harvard Alumni Association and hundreds of faculty and staff have also supported Gay.

How are the other presidents who testified faring? University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill stepped down over the weekend after releasing an apology video for not outright condemning anti-Semitism. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, has pledged its “full and unreserved support” for President Sally Kornbluth. When asked if calling for the genocide of Jewish people violated campus speech codes, all three presidents said it depended on context. MIT Corporation Head Mark Gorenberg said Kornbluth “has done excellent work in leading our community, including in addressing anti-Semitism.”

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard’s interview with Ilya Shapiro on The World and Everything In It podcast about the presidents’ controversial testimonies.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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