House Education Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) announced Thursday an investigation into three top colleges following major backlash to their presidents’ testimony at a hearing about antisemitism on campuses this week.
“The testimony we received earlier this week from Presidents [Claudine] Gay, [Liz] Magill, and [Sally] Kornbluth about the responses of Harvard, [University of Pennsylvania], and [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] to the rampant antisemitism displayed on their campuses by students and faculty was absolutely unacceptable,” Foxx said in a statement.
“Given those institutional and personal failures, the Committee is opening a formal investigation into the learning environments at Harvard, UPenn, and MIT and their policies and disciplinary procedures.”
The announcement comes after the presidents have faced calls to resign and bipartisan condemnation after not saying calls for a Jewish genocide would be considered harassment on their campuses.
Foxx threatened to “utilize compulsory measures including subpoenas” to get the “substantial” number of documents the House wants to see.
“The disgusting targeting and harassment of Jewish students is not limited to these institutions, and other universities should expect investigations as well, as their litany of similar failures has not gone unnoticed,” she said.
Both Penn and Harvard’s presidents have released statements since their testimony clarifying their positions on the matter, but it has done little to quell the anger many feel at their responses during the hearing.
“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,” Harvard President Claudine Gay said.