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House Education Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has initiated an investigation into Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology following their presidents’ responses at a hearing about antisemitism on campuses. Foxx described the testimony given by Presidents Claudine Gay, Liz Magill, and Sally Kornbluth as “absolutely unacceptable,” citing failures in addressing antisemitism at these institutions.
In her statement, Foxx expressed concern over the institutional and personal lapses in managing antisemitic behavior and announced a formal inquiry into the educational environments, policies, and disciplinary procedures at these universities. The investigation stems from the controversy surrounding the president’s inability to classify calls for Jewish genocide as harassment during the hearing, leading to widespread calls for their resignation and bipartisan censure.
To ensure compliance and thorough examination, Foxx indicated the potential use of “compulsory measures including subpoenas” to acquire the extensive documentation the House committee requires. She also hinted at the possibility of expanding investigations to other universities, addressing the broader issue of harassment against Jewish students.
In response to the backlash, both Harvard and Penn’s presidents issued clarifying statements. Harvard President Claudine Gay stated, “Let me be clear: Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account.”