Billionaire Bill Ackman has blasted Harvard's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policy in a new online essay, which he argues is “the root cause of anti-Semitism” at the prestigious institution.
The Pershing Square CEO and Havard graduate posted a 4,000 tweet on X on Tuesday calling for an overhaul of the university's board of trustees.
It comes shortly after Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned in the wake of a series of plagiarism allegations and high-profile anti-Semitism on the Ivy League campus.
Mr Ackman has previously been highly critical of Dr Gay's leadership, having recently called on her and two other university presidents to “resign in disgrace”.
In his lengthy post on X on Tuesday – hours after Ms Gay resigned – the 57-year-old hedge fund manager claimed Havard's “DEI” was racist.
“The E for ‘equality' in PPC is about equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity,” he said.
“DEI is racist because reverse racism is racism, even if it's against white people (and it's a notable thing I need to point out).
“At DEI, one's degree of oppression is determined by where one resides on a so-called intersectional pyramid of oppression where whites, Jews, and Asians are considered oppressors and a subset of people of color, LGBTQ people, and/or women are considered oppressed.”
Mr. Ackman also argued that according to DEI's “ideology… there is no such thing as being ‘non-racist.'
“Any policy, program, education system, economic system, grading system, admissions policy (even climate change because of its different effects on geographies and the people who live there) etc. that leads to unequal outcomes between people of different skin colors is considered racist,” he said.
As a result, according to DEI, capitalism is racist, advanced placement exams are racist, IQ tests are racist, corporations are racist, or in other words, any value-based program, system, or organization that has or produces results for different races who disagree with the proportion these different races represent in the population at large are by definition racist according to PPC ideology.”
He continued: “All of the above, it's one thing to give disadvantaged people the opportunities and resources to help themselves. It's another to select a candidate for induction or a leadership role when they are not qualified to serve in that role.
“That seems to have happened with the selection of former President Gay.”
Dr. Gay, Harvard's first black president, resigned after just six months and two days on the job. The period of the head of the university, which was founded in September 1636, is the shortest in its illustrious history.
The announcement came after her devastating appearance before Congress on Dec. 5 to defend the university's response to anti-Semitism following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the country's military response to Gaza.
Dr Gay has also been hit with around 40 charges of plagiarism, the latest of which was reported by The Washington Free Beacon on Monday.
Nevertheless, she was given a vote of confidence by the Harvard Society, the university's governing body, on December 12. After her resignation it was announced that she would retake the faculty position at the university.
Mr Ackman concluded his X post on Tuesday by criticizing board members who had supported Dr Gay and also calling for their resignation.
“These are the minimum changes needed to start repairing the damage that has been done,” he said.