Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik took credit for the resignation of Harvard University President Claudine Gay on Tuesday, following her resignation following a series of plagiarism allegations and an anti-Semitism controversy on the exclusive Ivy League university's campus.
“I will always deliver results,” Ms Stefanik said in a press statement. “The resignation of Harvard's anti-Semitic president is long overdue. Claudine Gay's morally bankrupt answers to my questions made history as the most popular congressional testimony in the history of the US Congress.”
Ms Stefanik was part of the panel that asked the presidents of top US universities, including Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) about anti-Semitism and free speech.
At the time, university leaders focused mainly on chants of protest that referred to the Palestinian “intifada” and the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which Ms. Stefanik interpreted as a call for genocide against the Jews. .
In a series of pointed questions, the New York lawmaker had asked whether students who uttered the phrase would be considered in violation of the university's code of conduct on bullying and harassment.
“This type of hate speech is personally abhorrent to me,” Ms. Gay had said, but later stressed that disciplinary action would depend “on the context” and that the words of students should translate into “behavior aimed at a person' to qualify as bullying and harassment.
Harvard's first black president, Ms Gay resigned on Tuesday just six months and two days into the job. “It is with a heavy heart but with a deep love for Harvard that I am writing to share that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I took lightly,” she said in a statement.
“Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I look forward to working with so many of you to further the commitment to academic excellence that has driven this great university through the ages.
“But, after consultation with members of the Society, it has become clear that it is in Harvard's best interest that I step down so that our community can meet this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual. “
Meanwhile, appearing on Fox News, Ms. Stefanik vowed to continue the congressional investigation into the colleges.
“I think the investigation will reveal much, much more,” he said. “These colleges are taking billions of taxpayer dollars.”
He also went to X to celebrate Ms Gay's resignation and criticize the university.
“TWO DOWN,” he wrote. “Harvard knows that this belated forced resignation of its anti-Semitic plagiarist president is just the beginning of what will be the biggest scandal of any college or university in history.”