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Harvard Rejects Calls to Fire President Claudine Gay Amid Crackdown on Pro-Palestinian Speech

HeadlineDec 12, 2023

The Harvard Corporation, Harvard University’s highest governing body, has rejected calls to fire President Claudine Gay following a contentious congressional hearing on antisemitism and a broader effort to restrict pro-Palestinian speech on college campuses. That’s according to The Harvard Crimson, which reports the decision came after more than 700 faculty members signed an open letter calling on the Harvard Corporation 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 letter continues, “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.” Claudine Gay also won the backing of Harvard’s alumni association and more than 70 Black faculty members who called attacks on her “specious and politically motivated.” Gay was inaugurated in October as the first African American and second woman to lead Harvard University. She’s the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Efforts to unseat her came as University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill resigned her position following intense Republican-led backlash and a Capitol Hill grilling by far-right Republican Congressmember Elise Stefanik.

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