The board that could determine the future of Harvard president Claudine Gay is scheduled to meet later today.
Gay, a professor who has led the prestigious US university since July, was asked last week in a congressional committee hearing whether calls for “genocide” against Jews would violate Harvard’s code of conduct, to which she did not respond with a direct affirmative, instead saying that it depended on the “context.”
The New York Times reports that ahead of today’s meeting of the Harvard Corporation — which was long-scheduled, but is now expected to focus on Gay — over 500 faculty members of the Ivy League school have signed a petition urging “in the strongest possible terms” to “resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom.”
The newspaper says the total faculty at the university amounts to some 2,300 members.
Gay was one of three university heads — along with University of Pennsylvania’s president Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Sally Kornbluth — who came under fire for their comments during the US Congressional hearing.
Gay later apologized for her comments, and on Saturday, Magill resigned amid pressure from donors and criticism over her testimony.
Universities across the US have been accused of failing to protect Jewish and Israeli students amid rising fears of antisemitism worldwide since the deadly October 7 onslaught on Israel by Hamas terrorists and the ensuing war in Gaza.