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Hundreds of Harvard faculty members have signed a petition supporting President Claudine Gay, following demands for her resignation after a controversial statement during a House hearing last week.

Congress Education Colleges Antisemitism

The petition, addressed to the Harvard Corporation, defends the principle of “free inquiry” on campus and opposes the influence of external political pressures on university leadership and academic freedom. The initiative has garnered significant support, with over 630 faculty members signing the letter, and more expressing interest in adding their names.

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The 14 Harvard faculty members who initiated the petition emphasized that the hearing was highly politicized, aiming to discredit higher education institutions. Despite holding varied opinions on Harvard’s response to the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7 and Gay’s conduct at the hearing, the group unanimously agreed on the university’s independence. They assert that “external political forces” should not influence critical decisions about leadership and policies, as this could jeopardize the commitment to “free inquiry” and exacerbate campus polarization.


This comes after controversy from Gay’s response at a hearing, where she was asked if calls for genocide against Jewish people would be deemed harassment on campus. She stated that the determination would depend on the context, a reply that sparked widespread calls for her resignation.


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