Harvard President Not Resigning, Board Says

Despite all the criticism and calls for resignation Harvard University President Claudine Gay has faced since last week, the institution’s board wants her to stay.

The decision comes exactly a week after her congressional testimony on antisemitism alongside University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth, in which the presidents said that calls for Jewish genocide does not constitute harassment or bullying in their respective campuses.

The Harvard Corporation released a statement, saying, “As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University. 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.”

The board admitted that the university should have offered “an immediate, direct, and unequivocal condemnation” of the surprise attack Hamas carried out on Israel on Oct. 7. “Calls for genocide are despicable and contrary to fundamental human values,” it said.

However the board emphasized that Gay already apologized for her statement, saying, “President Gay has apologized for how she handled her congressional testimony and has committed to redoubling the University’s fight against antisemitism.”

In Gay’s apology last week, she had explained that she became caught up in “an extended, combative exchange about policies and procedures.”

“What I should have had the presence of mind to do in that moment was return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community — threats to our Jewish students — have no place at Harvard and will never go unchallenged. Substantively, I failed to convey what is my truth,” she added in a statement that did very little to quell the anger directed at her and the other presidents since the hearing.

Magill voluntarily resigned from her position, as revealed by Board of Trustees Chairman Scott L. Bok.

“It has been my privilege to serve as President of this remarkable institution. It has been an honor to work with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to advance Penn’s vital missions,” Magill said in a statement addressing her exit.