newsSchools & Higher Education

House committee probing Berkeley ‘disappointed’ by materials it sent

“The committee was disappointed in the materials it received and is expecting future productions to be more productive,” a committee spokesman told JNS.

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.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, wrote to the University of California, Berkeley on March 19 requesting documents about the public school’s response to Jew-hatred on campus.

Foxx referred in the letter to a “violent riot” targeting Jews and “numerous antisemitic incidents” on the school’s campus.

“To assist the committee in understanding antisemitism at UC Berkeley and the university’s response,” Foxx requested documents from the public school “no later than 12 p.m.” Eastern Standard Time on April 2.

JNS sought comment from the committee on whether Berkeley provided the documents.

“The committee was disappointed in the materials it received and is expecting future productions to be more productive,” a committee spokesman told JNS.

“As a matter of long-standing practice, the university prioritizes direct communications with legislative committees when responding to any questions or concerns they may have,” Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor for executive communications at Berkeley, told JNS.

“At the same time, UC Berkeley  has long been committed to confronting antisemitism and to supporting the needs and interests of its Jewish students, faculty and staff,” Mogulof added.

The university spokesman told JNS that Berkeley strengthened that commitment by establishing a Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Jewish Student Life and Campus Climate (2015) and an Antisemitism Education Initiative (2019), “the first program of its kind in the country.”

“UC Berkeley has an unwavering commitment to ensuring every student feels safe and welcome, at all times, in all places, regardless of who they are or what they believe in,” Mogulof said.

In the March 19 letter, which ran 15 pages, Foxx wrote to the university that “we have grave concerns regarding the inadequacy of UC Berkeley’s response to antisemitism on its campus.” She added that “Several recent incidents have been particularly troubling.”

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