Live Updates: Leaders of Northwestern, U.C.L.A. and Rutgers to Testify Before Congress

Live Updates: Leaders of Northwestern, U.C.L.A. and Rutgers to Testify Before Congress

Anemona Hartocollis

The presidents of Harvard, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania testified last December in front of a House committee.Credit…Tom Brenner for The New York Times

When the House Committee on Education and the Workforce called the presidents of Harvard, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania to testify last December, the focus was on how the leaders were dealing with the rising number of antisemitic incidents on campus.

But over the last several weeks, as pro-Palestinian encampments sprang up on campuses across the country, the committee indicated that its interest had subtly shifted, from the larger issue of antisemitism on campus to the encampments and their organizers in particular.

On May 6, the committee announced a change in its lineup of witnesses, reflecting that shift. It originally planned on calling on the leaders of Yale, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Los Angeles, to testify, but changed the lineup to Rutgers, Northwestern and U.C.L.A. instead — all schools that have struggled with the demands of protesters and with how to remove the encampments.

Representative Virginia Foxx, the committee’s chair, suggested that the universities were being too indulgent with protesters. “No stone must go unturned while buildings are being defaced, campus greens are being captured or graduations are being ruined,” she wrote in her original April 30 announcement about the hearing.

Since then, Dr. Foxx has taken issue with the deals officials struck to get protesters to stop their demonstrations.

“Over the last several days, the presidents of Northwestern and Rutgers have made shocking concessions to the unlawful antisemitic encampments on their campuses,” said Dr. Foxx, a Republican of North Carolina.

She said the leaders of the schools “surrendered to antisemitic radicals in despicable displays of cowardice,” adding that “Yale and Michigan are by no means off the hook.”

In a May 10 letter to Northwestern’s president, Michael Schill, Dr. Foxx said the university had capitulated to protesters by allowing them to maintain a “Northwestern Liberated Zone” while removing tents. He was also criticized for agreeing to fund visiting Palestinian faculty members and undergraduates, “in apparent violation of federal anti-discrimination laws,” among other objections.

With U.C.L.A., Dr. Foxx criticized it for not being quick enough to request help from the Los Angeles Police Department as the campus “erupted into violence when a group of instigators attempted to dismantle the encampment by force.”

And she faulted Rutgers for selective enforcement of rules, saying in a letter, “They just don’t seem to apply when it comes to protecting Jewish students.”

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