Following the resignation of Harvard President Claudine Gay, the CEO of a pro-Israel student-focused organization told Fox News Digital that the university must commit to remedying antisemitism and ridding the school of “cultural rot” when a new president is hired.
“Harvard’s leadership doesn’t just have a plagiarism problem. It has a moral problem. Many of Harvard’s students and faculty don’t see what’s wrong with Hamas or its brutal murders and rapes of Israelis. The next leader of Harvard needs to fix the deeper cultural rot at that once great university,” Israel On Campus Coalition (ICC) CEO Jacob Baime told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
“Not only do Harvard students and faculty cheer the murder of Israelis, they have made life unbearable and unsafe for Jewish students and faculty on the Harvard campus,” he said, noting that the ICC describes itself as an organization that works to inspire American college students and pro-Israel college groups to “see Israel as a source of pride and empower them to stand up for Israel on campus.”
News broke Tuesday afternoon that Gay was expected to resign amid mounting allegations of plagiarism and her handling of antisemitism on campus since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7. She officially announced her resignation in a letter to the school’s community, saying the decision did not occur “easily.”
Gay came under fierce condemnation last month after she and the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT appeared before Congress and were grilled about their handling of antisemitism on their respective campuses. Simultaneously, the Harvard chief battled accusations of repeated plagiarism, including claims that she plagiarized almost 20 authors in four of her 11 peer-reviewed academic papers, including her doctoral dissertation.
“Once it became clear that the plagiarism in President Gay’s work was part of a clear pattern, it was simply too damaging to the reputation of the university and its students for her to stay on,” Harvard student Charlie Covit told Fox News Digital.
Covit added that allegations of plagiarism should not “overshadow” antisemitism on campus, which he said must be addressed by the next president.
“I hope that the plagiarism, while serious, will not overshadow what remains a serious issue on our campus: antisemitism and an obsessive hatred of Israel. The next president must address the concerns of the Jewish community on day one.”
Harvard announced that Provost Alan M. Garber will serve as interim president until the school finds Gay’s replacement, the Harvard Crimson reported.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced an investigation into alleged antisemitism on Harvard’s campus in November amid students staging “die-ins” that blame Israel for the war and anti-Israel protesters marching across the campus since the war began.
Gay’s resignation marks the shortest tenure a president has ever held at Harvard, the student newspaper reported. She served six months and two days on the job.
Gay, along with UPenn’s and MIT’s respective presidents, came under fire from lawmakers, and subsequently viewers at large, last month when they were grilled about whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violates the respective school’s codes of conduct.
“At Harvard, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment?” Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik asked Gay.
“It can be, depending on the context,” Gay responded.
“Antisemitic speech when it crosses into conduct that amounts to bullying, harassment, intimidation … is actionable conduct, and we do take action,” Gay said when pressed to answer “yes” or “no” if calls for the genocide of Jews breaks school rules.
“So the answer is yes, that calling for the genocide of Jews violates [Harvard’s] code of conduct, correct?” Stefanik asked.
“Again, it depends on the context,” Gay said.
“It does not depend on the context. The answer is yes, and this is why you should resign,” Stefanik responded. “These are unacceptable answers across the board.”
Gay apologized shortly after, as critics sounded off, saying “words matter.”
“When words amplify distress and pain, I don’t know how you could feel anything but regret,” Gay added in her apology.
Harvard and Penn subsequently saw billboard truck protests that demanded the firing of Gay and Penn President Liz Magill in light of their responses to Congress. Gay’s resignation comes after Magill resigned her position last month.
Harvard did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News Digital’s Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.