More than 650 Harvard faculty members signed a letter urging leadership not to fire university president Claudine Gay after her testimony at a congressional hearing regarding antisemitism.
The letter was written and addressed to the Harvard Corporation after blowback and calls for Gay to resign following her testimony on Tuesday, the Harvard Crimson reported Sunday.
The report said:
Addressing the Corporation, they wrote they “urge you in the strongest possible terms to defend the independence of the university and to resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom, including calls for the removal of President Claudine Gay.”
“The critical work of defending a culture of free inquiry in our diverse community cannot proceed if we let its shape be dictated by outside forces,” they added.
On Thursday, Gay apologized for her weak stance against antisemitism during the congressional testimony, Breitbart News reported:
As Breitbart News noted, Gay was questioned by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a graduate of Harvard, who asked whether calling for the genocide of Jews constituted a violation of the university’s code of conduct. Gay replied that it depended on the “context.”
Gay tried to walk back her stance the following day, but ended up repeating it, without clarifying if calls for genocide were allowed. The university has, as Stefanik pointed out, punished other forms of perceived hate speech.
In her apology, Gay said she failed to live up to her own “guiding truth” in the moment.
The recent Crimson report said prominent professors are among the signatories of the letter.
Rabbi David Wolpe, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Divinity School, stepped down from the university’s antisemitism committee after Gay’s testimony, according to Breitbart News.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said Gay was hired thanks to the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative, Breitbart News reported Friday.