Northwestern's President Didn't Do Well Under Congressional Questioning

AP Photo/Jake Offenhartz

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce held its third hearing on campus anti-Semitism today. This time the college presidents called to testify were from UCLA, Rutgers and Northwestern university. Like the first round of testimony last year, this one generated some fireworks, especially when it came to President Schill of Northwestern.


[Rep. Virginia] Foxx told the three university leaders that they should be ashamed of decisions “that allowed antisemitic encampments to endanger Jewish students,” and told Schill and Holloway they should be “doubly ashamed for capitulating” to protesters.

With rapid-fire questions — sometimes shouted — committee members demanded answers.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) described Northwestern’s resolution of the protest as a “unilateral capitulation to the pro-Hamas, anti-Israel, antisemitic encampment” and asked whether it was true a Jewish student had been assaulted.

“So, I want to question the premise of your question —” Schill began.

“No, no, no, no,” Stefanik interrupted. “I’m asking the questions. You’re answering.”

That was really just the start. Here's the full exchange with Rep. Stefanik.

As for the ADL, after today's hearing they renewed their call for President Schill to resign.

"President Schill admitted in his opening statement that he was aware of the spike of antisemitism on campus before the encampment went up on April 25. He said he knew the encampment violated existing University rules and that encampment protestors engaged in antisemitism, including threats of violence against Jewish students. Yet he did nothing.

"President Schill testified the Deering Agreement was reached at 4am without sufficient consultation with Jewish students or leaders on campus because it was “impractical.” Yet he somehow had time to consult select members of the Board of Trustees, but not the whole Board, and with select members of the Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate, including Jessica Winegar, a leading international proponent of the BDS movement. In other words, he only asked those he knew would not push back against his capitulation to rule breakers and the obvious dangers the agreement posed to the future of Jewish students on campus."...

President Schill claimed during testimony that he still does not know who was behind the encampment, yet he somehow reached an agreement with encampment leaders.


Here's another exchange with Rep. Stefanik:

Another segment of questioning from Rep. Jim Banks to which President Schill mostly refused to answer.

Schill's worst moment probably came when Rep. Burgess Owens asked if he would have pursued the same strategy of negotiation with students if the protesters had been members of the KKK. Schill refused to answer that.

Finally, there was another testy exchange with Rep. Tim Walberg who questioned President Schill about the President’s Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate which he formed last November. As National Review points out, Schill appointed three people to this this group who had objected to its formation.

Upon the creation of the committee, 163 Northwestern faculty and staff members signed a letter denouncing its existence, writing that they were “seriously dismayed and concerned by the email [Schill] sent on Nov. 13, ‘Announcing new committee on antisemitism and hate.'”

“Your letter . . . inflicts the exact harm it claims to prevent through its glaring imbalance. It deprioritizes and diminishes many students’ experiences, ideas and concerns regarding what leading scholars and human rights organizations are describing as genocidal violence in Gaza,” the faculty and staff wrote. “The letter makes unjustified assumptions about which students, staff, and faculty are the targets of hate. And, it implies that criticism of the government of Israel is antisemitic.”...

Three professors who signed the letter — associate professor of pediatrics Reema Habiby, anthropology professor Robert Launay, and Middle Eastern studies professor Jessica Winegar — were announced months later as members of the antisemitism task force. Another member, an undergraduate student named Mahdi Haseeb, is a leader of the university’s Middle Eastern and North African Student Association, which issued a statement shortly after October 7 saying its members “resoundingly support Palestinian resistance” and described Hamas terrorists as “martyrs.”


The group was eventually disbanded after seven members resigned in protest. Here's the questioning by Rep. Walberg.

President Schill's anti-Semitism Committee was designed to fail. The fact that he refuses to admit that a committee packed with pro-Hamas members was never going to succeed is ludicrous. He's not fooling anyone.

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