The House Committee on Education and the Workforce announced that it will be launching an investigation into three major universities – Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – regarding “rampant anti-Semitism” on campus.
As Fox News reports, the investigation is the latest form of scrutiny to which such universities have been subjected in the wake of the October 7th terror attacks against Israel, with Jewish students being subjected to protests and targeted attacks by anti-Israel protesters.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairwoman of the committee, said that “the Committee is opening a formal investigation into the learning environments at Harvard, UPenn, and MIT and their policies and disciplinary procedures. This investigation will include substantial document requests, and the Committee will not hesitate to utilize compulsory measures including subpoenas if a full response is not immediately forthcoming.”
In perhaps the most heated exchange of the hearing, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked all three presidents if “calling for the genocide of Jews” would be in violation of each college’s code of conduct. None of the presidents answered the question directly, with Harvard University President Claudine Gay even being seen smirking at that particular question.
“After this week’s pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents when answering my questions, the Education and Workforce Committee is launching an official Congressional investigation with the full force of subpoena power into Penn, MIT, & Harvard and others,” said Stefanik. “We will use our full Congressional authority to hold these schools accountable for their failure on the global stage.”
“The testimony we received earlier this week from Presidents Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth about the responses of Harvard, UPenn, and MIT to the rampant antisemitism displayed on their campuses by students and faculty was absolutely unacceptable,” Foxx added.
In addition to the latest investigation, these and other universities have also faced backlash from donors and alumni over their failures to respond to rising anti-Semitism on campus. In the months following the October 7th attacks, many donors and alumni have withdrawn massive gifts and donations and have encouraged others to do the same.