3 Deans at Columbia University Ousted for Texting ‘Antisemitic Tropes’

Three administrators at Columbia University have been ousted from their positions and placed on indefinite leave over controversial messages they sent during a panel on Jewish life at the university.

Their leaked private texts show the three Columbia officials made fun of witnesses testifying about antisemitism on campus.

Their removal from administrative positions comes after the House Committee on Education and the Workforce had published some of the disturbing messages last week.

Some of the texts reportedly accused critics of the university of using charges of antisemitism to raise funds.

In another message, one of the administrators texted a vomit emoji in response to the mention of an antisemitic Op-Ed by a campus rabbi.

“Jewish students deserve better than to have harassment and threats against them dismissed as ‘privilege,’ and Jewish faculty members deserve better than to be mocked by their colleagues,” said House Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC). “These text messages once again confirm the need for serious accountability across Columbia’s campus.”

The messages were sent during a May 31 panel discussion entitled “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present and Future.” That panel was held to address the rampant antisemitic protests that had crippled the Columbia campus and were allowed to persist for weeks before university leaders finally called in police to break it up before graduation. The pro-Palestinian protesters had taken over an administration building and built a tent encampment while threatening Jewish students on campus.

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University President Minouche Shafik and Provost Angela Olinto said the three administrators have been permanently removed from their positions.

“This incident revealed behavior and sentiments that were not only unprofessional but also, disturbingly touched on ancient antisemitic tropes,” Shafik wrote. “Whether intended as such or not, these sentiments are unacceptable and deeply upsetting.”

Shafik said the messages conveyed a “lack of seriousness about the concerns and the experiences of members of our Jewish community.”

While the three administrators will not return to their roles, they are still technically employed by the university.

Shafik said the university will launch a “vigorous” antisemitism and antidiscrimination training program for faculty and staff in the fall, as well as related training for students.

JUNE 2024: Jewish Students Sue UCLA for Allowing Antisemitic Activists to Threaten Them and Block Access

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