update deskSchools & Higher Education

Columbia university president to testify about campus antisemitism

House Education Committee Chair Rep. Virginia Foxx said “some of the worst cases of antisemitic assaults, harassment and vandalism” had occurred at the New York City school.

Nemat “Minouche” Shafik
Nemat (“Minouche”) Shafik. Credit: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

Nemat (“Minouche”) Shafik, the president of Columbia University in New York City, escaped the grilling that the leaders of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania endured when speaking about campus antisemitism at a congressional hearing on Dec. 5.

Led by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who sits on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, that hearing prompted a discussion about genocide and Jews, with the university leaders hedging that it depended on “context” as to whether such talk went against school policy. That response eventually led, in part, to the resignations of the Penn and Harvard presidents. 

On Monday, the committee announced the “Columbia in Crisis: Columbia University’s Response to Antisemitism,” to take place on April 17, where Shafik will answer questions.

The committee’s chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), accused the school of featuring “some of the worst cases of antisemitic assaults, harassment and vandalism.”

Foxx said that because of the “severe and pervasive nature” of threats to Jewish students, “the committee must hear from Columbia’s leadership in person to learn how the school is addressing antisemitism on its campus.”

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