Claudine Gay: More Than 700 Harvard Faculty Members Sign Letter Urging Harvard Corporation Not To Remove First Black Female President

by Gee NY

Over 700 faculty members at Harvard University have signed a letter urging the Harvard Corporation to resist mounting calls for the removal of University President Claudine Gay from her position.

The Corporation, the institution’s top governing body, convened for a scheduled meeting on Monday, Dec. 11 amid growing criticism following Gay’s testimony in a congressional hearing on antisemitism last week.

The letter, which began circulating on Sunday morning and was sent to the Corporation on Sunday night, carries the faculty’s strong support for President Gay and calls on the Corporation to defend the principle of university independence.

The faculty members argue that the calls for Gay’s removal are politically motivated and run counter to Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom.

The controversy surrounding Gay escalated after more than 70 members of Congress, largely Republicans, called for her resignation following the congressional hearing.

Speculation about Gay’s future at Harvard intensified after University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill, who testified alongside Gay, stepped down over the weekend amid backlash from the hearing.

In the letter, the faculty members expressed their concerns about external pressures influencing the university’s decision-making process.

They stated:

“We urge you in the strongest possible terms 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.”

Gay, the first Black female President of the institution has apologized for her controversial comments at the anti-Semitic hearing.

Claudine Gay, Credit: Getty Images

The Corporation is expected to decide whether to issue a public statement in support of Gay.

The faculty members argue that defending the university’s culture of free inquiry is essential and cannot be dictated by external forces.

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