Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman says Harvard president Claudine Gay was hired because of the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative, rather than “identifying the best leaders for our prestigious universities.”
“I learned from someone with first-person knowledge of the Harvard president search that the committee would not consider a candidate who did not meet the DEI office’s criteria,” Ackman wrote in a post on X/Twitter Thursday of the Harvard president, who is black.
I learned from someone with first person knowledge of the @Harvard president search that the committee would not consider a candidate who did not meet the DEI office’s criteria.
The same was likely true for other elite universities doing searches at the same time, creating an…
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 7, 2023
“The same was likely true for other elite universities doing searches at the same time, creating an even more limited universe of DEI-eligible presidential candidates,” Ackman continued in his post.
“Shrinking the pool of candidates based on required race, gender, and/or sexual orientation criteria is not the right approach to identifying the best leaders for our most prestigious universities,” he said.
The hedge fund manager went on to say, “it is also not good for those awarded the office of president who find themselves in a role that they would likely not have obtained were it not for a fat finger on the scale.”
“I have been called brave for my tweets over the last few weeks. The same could be said for those called out Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare,” Ackman said.
“I don’t think it will be long before we look back on the last few years of free speech suppression and the repeated career-ending accusations of racist for those who questioned the DEI movement,” he added.
Ackman concluded his post, writing, “We are all shortly going to realize that the DEI era is the McCarthy era Part II,” adding, “History rhymes, but it does not repeat.”
On Tuesday, Ackman slammed Gay, as well as MIT president Sally Kornbluth and UPenn president Liz Magill, demanding that they “resign in disgrace” following their comments during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
“In short, they said: It ‘depends on the context’ and ‘whether the speech turns into conduct,’ that is, actually killing Jews,” the billionaire said, adding that “this could be the most extraordinary testimony ever elicited in the Congress, certainly on the topic of genocide.”
As Breitbart News reported, Ackman as been very vocal about his distaste for Harvard leadership’s failure to address rampant antisemitism on campus.
In October, the hedge fund manager called on Harvard to release the names of students that are members of groups that signed a pro-terror statement in response to the October 7 Hamas attacks against Israel, so that employers do not “inadvertently” hire pro-terrorist graduates in the future.