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College Presidents Are Under Siege – It’s About Time

Posted on Wednesday, December 27, 2023
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by Shane Harris
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AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Elizabeth Magill speaking on Antisemitism on college campuses

After decades of allowing militant far-left ideology to spread unchecked on their campuses and in their classrooms, university presidents and administrators are finally facing a reckoning.

The explosion of antisemitic incidents on college campuses following Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel in October opened the eyes of millions of Americans to the moral depravity and downright genocidal thinking that have infected once venerated academic institutions.

While conservatives and free speech advocates have been sounding the alarm about the proliferation of ideologies such as Critical Race Theory and radical gender theory for years, the world now has seen first-hand just how dangerous those dogmas are as left-wing professors have slandered Jewish students as “colonizers” in class while mobs of radicalized left-wing students have threatened and attacked Jewish students and faculty.

There is plenty of blame to go around for American academia’s descent into a morass of cultural Marxism and left-wing extremism. But the university presidents and administrators who have at best ignored and at worst actively encouraged this phenomenon are uniquely responsible for it – and in many cases are direct beneficiaries of it.

Most have so far avoided any real accountability. But in the wake of the wave of antisemitism on their campuses, the presidents of several of America’s elite universities have been forced to apologize for their actions and statements and are facing intense pressure from high-dollar donors to step down.

This pressure ramped up significantly following congressional testimony on December 5 from Elizabeth Magill, Claudine Gay, and Sally Kornbluth, the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and MIT, respectively. During questioning from Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), all three refused to say that calling for genocide against Jews violated their schools’ code of conduct.

The shocking exchange led to immediate public uproar and extensive negative news coverage. Days later, a bipartisan group of 74 Members of Congress sent a letter to the governing boards of Harvard, UPenn, and MIT demanding that they immediately dismiss their presidents.

“The university presidents’ responses to questions aimed at addressing the growing trend of antisemitism on college and university campuses were abhorrent,” the lawmakers wrote. “When pushed on whether calling for the genocide of Jews violates university policies on bully and harassment, Presidents Gay (Harvard), Kornbluth (MIT), and Magill (Penn) were evasive and dismissive, failing to simply condemn such action. This should be an easy and resounding ‘yes.’”

The incident also touched off a wave of donor revolts at these schools and several others that have also seen a series of antisemitic incidents. Len Blavatnik, a billionaire who has donated some $270 million to Harvard, said he was immediately pausing all contributions shortly after Gay’s testimony. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has also ceased his recurring donations and demanded that the school fire Gay.

UPenn, MIT, and Yale have similarly seen high net worth donors pull their support.

In at least one case, that of now-former UPenn President Elizabeth Magill, this pressure campaign was successful. As The New York Times reported, following Magill’s testimony, “Influential graduates questioned her leadership, wealthy contributors moved to withdraw donations, and public officials besieged the university to oust its president.” Magill resigned just four days after her appearance before Congress.

But it is perhaps Harvard’s President Gay who has faced the most intense public scrutiny, particularly following allegations that she plagiarized much of her academic work. The Washington Free Beacon has cited more than a half dozen instances in Gay’s writings, including her doctoral dissertation, in which she lifted entire sentences or even paragraphs directly from other authors without crediting them.

The plagiarism is so egregious that even liberal columnists Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post and John McWhorter of The New York Times have called on Gay to resign. “Her track record is unbefitting the president of the country’s premier university,” Ruth wrote, while McWhorter argued, “As a matter of scholarly ethics, academic honor and, perhaps most of all, leadership that sets an example for students, Dr. Gay would be denigrating the values of ‘veritas’ that she and Harvard aspire to uphold.”

If Gay is indeed forced out, it will be under the pretense of her academic dishonesty. But it was her refusal to condemn calls for genocide against Jews and the subsequent backlash against her extreme woke policies that first put her on the hot seat.

Kornbluth has escaped relatively unscathed compared to Magill and Gay, but is still facing calls for her resignation and donors withdrawing their support. If that pressure continues, she too may be forced out.

The repercussions for Magill, Gay, and Kornbluth serve as a warning to the presidents of the rest of America’s academic institutions. While these three were chosen because they represent some of the most prestigious schools in the country, they could well have been replaced by the president of virtually any other major university, almost all of whom have tolerated or encouraged antisemitism and nurtured the same culture of militant leftism.

In the years ahead, the challenge for conservatives will be to build on this momentum and continue to press for accountability and changes in leadership.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneHarris513.

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Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
4 months ago

Sure, some, or eventually all three of them will “resign” but what does that mean?
In the case of Magill, she “resigned” but still remailns on staff and is still being paid a very lucrative salary.
In other words, it doesn’t mean jack squat.
No consequences, but more importantly, NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

BACKWOODS
BACKWOODS
4 months ago

It’s not just college campus’s but the entire education system has been infiltrated by Commy Libtards.

John Bass
John Bass
4 months ago

The best thing that could happen is for the Government to take away all Federal funding. These Colleges are already hurting because alumni have begun taking away contributions. I say hit them where it will hurt the most…the purse.

Trump 2024

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
4 months ago

Harvard’s President is the black face of anti-white racism. The poster girl for identity politics!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
4 months ago

This is not something “new” but has gone on for decades! These places are not the bastions of free speech they proclaim themselves to be; they’re bastions of THEIR speech. If you disagree with them, you’re a racist, homophobic, misogynist, colonialist Nazi. The only thing they can’t call us is “anti-Semitic”… they have that one covered!

Pat R
Pat R
4 months ago

The left-wing professors need to go next. Education is Supposed to be to teach basic and then special skills to help students gain a meaningful career job, not indoctrination.
The swamp exists in public education just as it does in government. Both swamps need cleaned out.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
4 months ago

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the cost for attending college started skyrocketing once the feds got involved. Back in the day, a student could afford college simply by working; either for the college or off-campus plus a little savings thrown in.
Now the colleges are flush with government money and can raise prices a lot faster than the inflation rate. With a $50 billion endowment, Harvard makes a billion a year at just 2%. What do they do with it? Cut costs for their students? Not on your life. Hire some high-priced administrators and allow “professors” to write books and make a fortune!

James Keil
James Keil
4 months ago

People need a hand up, not a hand out! That goes for college students too. We’re going to break the bank making everything “woke,” and pushing “victims” to the top.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
4 months ago

There should be many more under fire. o the point of surrender.

Garyk
Garyk
4 months ago

It’s time the marxist cesspool of liberal,overpaid,America hating college presidents and professors were removed and compensation slashed for their failure!
Who do these useless, self indulging, political zealots think they are??
A large majority of this group is a destructive plague on America, Education and all students !
End tax dollars to colleges, abolish all federal, state or local boards of education!
Local Citizens must control the Education of our students, not marxist teachers and out of control unions!

P2burner
P2burner
4 months ago

Right now, I thanl God I never went to college. On the other hand, a family member that went to Berkley in the 60’s, and got a PhD, is a total wack job that is just now starting to talk to me again. I think it is interesting that it is mostly the far left that “divorces ” their conservative family because we aren’t “tolerant”…

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
4 months ago

This is only a bump in the road. Colleges will do enough damage control to allow this story to become old news and, hopefully, forgotten. Eventually, the economics of a college education will have an impact. Colleges are an extension of the DC swamp. Private colleges get funding from the government. Politicians and high ranking government appointees leave office and go to universities in some capacity, where they make sure the funding pipeline from Washington flows well. The woke ideas of liberal college leaders inform the woke swamp dwellers in Washington. When the Obama administration made the government the insurer of college loans, tuition costs started to increase dramatically. Many liberal arts degrees now cost more than they are worth, because the degrees do not lead to high paying jobs. So Biden wants to come to the rescue, not of the system, but of the people who were foolish enough to spend a lot of money on a degree that won’t generate enough salary to pay off the loans. More people are now asking is a college degree really necessary? My degrees were earned in the 60s. I now wonder if some of the jobs out there being filled by degree holders really need a degree holder. A number of smaller liberal arts schools have closed their doors in the last five years because they couldn’t attract enough students. That won’t affect Harvard and other schools with big endowments, but it will have an impact on many schools. The game will change, but slowly.

Robin W Boyd
Robin W Boyd
4 months ago

Hateful Progressives (formerly American Communists) should not be allowed to be in a position to influence our children in any way.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
4 months ago

Time to Defund these schools I hope the money backers stop giving these schools funds, the students many just cause trouble they should be in school to learn they waste money when they are out carrying signs and and promote hate. Time for this to stop many heads should loose there jobs they also promote hate in these schools.

George Looney
George Looney
4 months ago

All frmale.
All very liberal.
All see dei as a religion.
All are useless to a decent society.
All shoukd work at a soup kitchen and fade away.

Thinking
Thinking
4 months ago

College presidents are under the control of O. Continue brainwashing the kids by liberal professors to overthrow America to communism. That is why Gay is still at Harvard. And all the other presidents who became presidents because they shattered, were a woman, or gay, or black, or all three. Merit did not come into question, would they follow orders from O, was the criteria. And here we are. Young adults that believe the holocaust never happened. Osama Bin Laden is a good guy. And Christian’s have to die. See massacre in Nigeria Christmas Eve. Demonstrations in New York San Francisco on Christmas Day. Blocking airport entrance in LA today. Did the LA police arrest them quickly, no. Where were the water cannons to disperse them and let the people get to their flights. Why? The demonstrators are the boss in this country, for ole Joe never calls on them to behave within the norms. He agrees with them, they know that, they know they won’t be charged with nothing. As soon as an upstanding citizen should call them out, the police would arrest them so quick. The DA would charge them right away, the judge would convict and sentence them. The warden would throw away the key. The current justice system in the USA.

johnh
johnh
4 months ago

After 1990 the CEO s got greedy & salaries went to the moon vs. their employees , so tell me how the Universities were able to jump on the same bandwagon & start getting paid millions per year. I think maybe satan had a hand in promoting the greed of people. When this will end & relive that MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL?

Kshane
Kshane
4 months ago

Higher education is still something that students can aspire to and parents can support for such conservative universities as Hillsdale College, the premier institution of higher education that is the backbone of American exceptionalism that embraces the American Constitution and History! They not only churn out some of the most conservative thinkers and have the likes of Victor Davis Hansen on staff! They also offer free courses in American Constitution and American History and many other courses online FREE for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of what makes America great! I encourage every conservative to check out Hillsdale College and take their free courses online. In our damnation of liberal institutions of higher education, let’s not forget those that still hold true to our American heritage and are providing worthwhile education to our kids! Hillsdale.edu

Durwood McElroy
Durwood McElroy
4 months ago

Finally. These universities have been havens of anti-Americanism for decades.

Myrna
Myrna
4 months ago

This support for Palestine after the savage attack should have been recognized as primarily bullying even though there is freedom of speech, and it was/is their responsibility to lead out. .

Ray
Ray
4 months ago

Don’t worry about firing anyone. Any educational organization that promotes this unethical behavior needs to lose their charter. If the school becomes uncredited, the students loans get forgiven. Isn’t that what Biden wants? Is to forgive their student loan debts? This is a legal way of doing just that as he promised to. Kills two birds with one stone.

Beyondpissed
Beyondpissed
4 months ago

Obummer behind the scene pressuring to keep Gay on! The fact that he has released a propaganda film about an EMF attack on the U.S. taking down the Grid on NetFlix in one of the scenes female Characters states Never trust white people! He’s has been running the show I believe he falsified his Birth certificate in Hawaii (The Hawaii official that approved it died in a plane crash) He is 100% Marxist and has warped the minds of a Generation of Americans! I 100% believe he’s on the Epstein flight logs! Destroying us without firing a shot! Why has media never reported on the truth? He is the first one that called people conspiracy theorists! Show me I’m wrong!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
4 months ago

HANGEM, HANGEM HIGH. LOL LOL If these wealthy supporters are giving them Millions, why does it cost so much to go there in the first place. ???? Hard to believe this kinda crap goes on. Why such a hatred of the Jew. ?? This is U>S. Not some 3rd rate country. Then again see nhat Germany done. Kyle L.

TPS
TPS
4 months ago

Nothing will really change. IMO

Steven
Steven
4 months ago

For decades rich Arab countries have been pouring money into America’s colleges and universities to change the negative narrative on Islam. Looks like their money was well spent. Instead of outrage from students in our colleges and universities following the brutal terrorists attacks in Israel we see students protesting against Israel’s response to the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust in WWII. What kind of education are these students receiving at these colleges and universities? These college Presidents who endorse these protests should be held accountable for their actions.

William Stapleton
William Stapleton
4 months ago

Cut off all federal funding to universities.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
4 months ago

Defund the Ivy League OK

Bill Smith
Bill Smith
4 months ago

In pursuit of the noblest excellence and the highest level of the greater good, utilizing Eminent Domain, nationalize all facilities of post high school education, confiscate all properties, bank accounts, endowments and off-shore stashes, redevelop all curricula to provide utility for the students and the nation. Fire all the idiots currently in charge, especially in the ivies..

Leland
Leland
4 months ago

Yes, people need to send the message to these educated idiots, they must follow universities rules or be fired.

Sam
Sam
4 months ago

So WHAT?! The Dumbassocrats are dug in so deep, they’ll never change. And so long as they are in charge, t’will only get WORSE. IMHO…..

Jerry_M_Tx
Jerry_M_Tx
4 months ago

It’s not that they allowed it, in many cases they fostered it.

Deborah
Deborah
4 months ago

U of PA. Isn’t that the University that has hidden all of our current President of USA, Inc. has hidden all of his records. Better come clean. Your University’s name will be MUD when it comes out. ????

Patrick Brandner
Patrick Brandner
4 months ago

It’s about time the US citizens see these Marxist phonies for who they really are! They are liars at least and communists at worst.

M. Grivas
M. Grivas
4 months ago

Bravo to the donors ,finally a backbone !But the bigger question is ,”Where are the conservative minded parents. With just the tuition at these schools north of 50K per year at these schools ,I’m dumbfounded that they would not yank their children out of the quagmire of indoctrination with no e d u c a t I o n. How can these kids contribute to a company who hires when all they learned was woke claptrap etc ???

Margie Lyons
Margie Lyons
4 months ago

Thank you for keeping a pulse on our American issues and writing from principles and basic foundational truth!

Harry
Harry
4 months ago

My personal opinion? If you want to save this country, you are running out of time. The people who got us here have to go and when I say “go” you should catch the drift. It has to start now!

Martiemae
Martiemae
4 months ago

Well you certainly have missed the point. Sorry Man.

Rob Blackburn
Rob Blackburn
4 months ago

Absolutely agree but I’d like to see some positive news about the colleges and universities that are doing the right things. Maybe if they got more attention we could start seeing some positive change.

John Shipway
John Shipway
4 months ago

The “cure” for this situation is to force every institution that has anything to do with public funding, state or federal from grants to loans or the handling of either, to allow ALL speech on campus settings with severe penalties if any such speech in encroached upon.Kinda like it says in the Constitution. If group “A” wants to screech hatred against the Israeli state or even Jewish people themselves…….fine but those that support the current genocidal activities going on in the Israeli region will have to be allowed to so state as well. Liberal speakers, conservative speakers, middle of the road speakers that speak about nothing? Let em have at it. That is the way the founders laid it out.
If AIPAC and their funny hat wearing supporters don’t like the fact that the views in disagreement with their current extremely questionable practices are being heard, well they can go to the land Gods realtor they proclaim provided them and stay. Plenty of open spaces it appears, just lay in a LOT of lime.

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