Headline RoundupDecember 12th, 2023

Harvard President to Stay On Despite Controversy Over House Testimony

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Claudine Gay will remain Harvard’s president after the university’s board unanimously backed her despite criticism over her congressional testimony on campus speech policies and anti-semitism.  

Key Quote: “As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University,” a Harvard Corporation statement said. “Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing.”

For Context: The Harvard Crimson (Not Rated), a student newspaper, first reported the story. Harvard’s decision also came after more than 700 faculty urged Harvard Corporation to “resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom.” Critics like hedge fund manager Bill Ackman had called for Gay’s resignation, particularly after University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill resigned over similar criticism and threats to donor funding.

How the Media Covered It: Harvard’s decision was a top story across the spectrum Tuesday morning, following weeks of coverage of campus pro-Palestine protests and universities’ responses. Headlines from right-rated outlets were more likely to call Gay “embattled” and highlight recent unrelated plagiarism accusations against her. Some coverage from left-rated outlets noted that Gay was “the university’s first Black president.”

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