update deskSchools & Higher Education

Harvard’s ‘actions to date are shameful,’ House Ed Committee chair says

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said many of the 2,500 pages that the university turned over to the committee are duplicates; others are heavily redacted.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, during a hearing about antisemitism on campus with the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT on Dec. 5, 2023. Credit: House Committee on Education and Labor.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, during a hearing about antisemitism on campus with the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT on Dec. 5, 2023. Credit: House Committee on Education and Labor.

Harvard University has not complied with a U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce subpoena despite turning some 2,500 pages of documents over, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the committee chair, stated on Tuesday.

“I don’t know if it’s arrogance, ineptness or indifference that’s guiding Harvard. Regardless, its actions to date are shameful,” Foxx stated.

“Just last week, Congress heard devastating and awful firsthand accounts of rampant antisemitism on college campuses, including at Harvard,” she said. “Despite this, Harvard has absolutely failed to comply in good faith with the committee’s subpoena for information about antisemitism on its campus.”

“Many of the 2,500 pages submitted to the committee were duplicates of documents already submitted. Heavy redactions throughout the production made several documents useless,” Foxx added. “The committee is weighing an appropriate response to Harvard’s malfeasance.”

The committee provided Harvard with a list of documents on Dec. 20 that it sought as part of an investigation into antisemitism at the school. On Jan. 9, Foxx wrote to Harvard’s interim president and a senior fellow at the Harvard Corporation requesting “documents and information regarding Harvard University’s response to antisemitism on its campus and its failure to protect Jewish students, faculty and staff,” per a press release from the committee.

On Jan. 23, Foxx called the documents Harvard provided “woefully inadequate.” The university shared “24 documents” that totaled “1,032 pages—including letters from nonprofits and copies of student handbooks—all of which were already publicly available,” the committee stated. “Some of the documents sent to the committee included inexplicable redactions of information that were included in the public versions.”

Foxx issued a “final warning” on Feb. 7 and said the committee would seek a subpoena if Harvard didn’t provide documents by 5 p.m. on Feb. 14. On Feb. 16, she sent subpoenas “requiring Harvard to produce 11 key areas of documentation that are intended to uncover what actions Harvard is undertaking or has undertaken to ensure Harvard Jewish students feel safe and welcome on campus.”

Harvard said that it has been responding in good faith to the committee.

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