Lise Stefanik Criticizes Harvard’s Decision Not to Remove Controversial President, Calling it a ‘Total Moral Failure’

Tuesday saw Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) condemn Harvard University’s choice to retain embattled President Claudine Gay, despite her underwhelming testimony before Congress last week and the mounting public demand for her dismissal.

Gay’s testimony sparked worry as she implied that students chanting genocidal slogans might not violate conduct codes, citing the “context” of their speech. Furthermore, journalist Christopher Rufo accused Gay of significant plagiarism, an allegation known since October but only recently garnering public notice.

The primary factor that could result in her removal seems to be the plagiarism allegation, rather than her contentious testimony. However, the Harvard Corporation, the pivotal committee determining her fate, expressed support for Gay.

Amidst these turbulent moments, the Fellows of the Harvard Corporation unanimously endorsed President Gay, underscoring Harvard’s commitment to open dialogue, academic freedom, and a steadfast stance against violence or disruptions to the learning environment.

The statement reiterated Harvard’s dedication to advancing knowledge and societal progress, expressing confidence in President Gay’s leadership to realize these crucial goals.

In reaction to the decision, Stefanik strongly criticized Harvard leadership, denouncing the “complete moral failure” in allowing Gay to retain her position as the university’s president.

“There is a reason why the testimony at the Education Workforce Committee garnered one billion views worldwide, and it’s because those university presidents made history by putting the most morally bankrupt testimony into the Congressional Record, and the world saw it,” Stefanik said, per Fox News.

“As a Harvard graduate, I’m reminded of Harvard’s motto, Veritas, which goes back – and it’s older than the founding of our country, it goes back to the 1640s. In addition, the motto was Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae – Truth for Christ and the Church.”

“Larry Summers, who was president of Harvard when I was an undergrad, talked about the meaning of Veritas is divine truth, moral truth. Let me be clear. Veritas does not depend on the context.”

“This is a moral failure of Harvard’s leadership and higher education leadership at the highest levels, and the only change they have made to their code of conduct, where they failed to condemn calls for genocide of the Jewish people, the only update to the code of conduct is to allow a plagiarist as the president of Harvard,” she said.