close
close

Latest Post

Springfield man pleads guilty to distributing child sexual abuse material Norwalk Police Remind Residents Not to Use Golf Carts on Public Roads

Three deans at Columbia University have been indefinitely removed from their positions after sending text messages that, according to the university president, contained anti-Semitic language.

In a message sent Monday, Columbia President Minouche Shafik said the text messages “revealed behavior and sentiments that were not only unprofessional but also disturbingly tapped into long-standing anti-Semitic stereotypes,” the Columbia Spectator reported.

“Whether intended or not,” she wrote, “these sentiments are unacceptable and deeply disturbing. They convey a lack of seriousness about the concerns and experiences of members of our Jewish community that is at odds with the values ​​of our university and the standards we must uphold in our community.”

The university placed the administrative staff on leave after the private text messages were first published by the conservative media outlet Washington Free Beacon in June.

They have not been fired by Columbia, but it is unclear when they will return to their posts, the New York Times reported.

The text exchange occurred during a university event titled “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present and Future,” which took place after Columbia dispatched New York police officers to clear student-led protests against Israel’s deadly war in Gaza, according to the Beacon.

The discussions took place among four administrators: Josef Sorett, the dean of Columbia College; Susan Chang-Kim, a former associate dean of Columbia College; Matthew Patashnick, the former assistant dean for student and family support; and Cristen Kromm, the former dean for undergraduate student life.

Sorett has since publicly apologized following the news, The Hill reported.

According to transcripts of the texts, several deans asked whether students were being excluded from Columbia University organizations because they were Jewish – an accusation of anti-Semitism that could not be confirmed.

“Were there really students who were kicked out of the clubs because they were Jewish?” asked an administrator.

“To my knowledge, no one was actively kicked out,” another person replied.

An administrator also wrote that Brian Cohen, one of the panelists and executive director of the Lavine family of Columbia/Barnard Hillel, “knows exactly what he is doing and how to make the most of the moment,” the Washington Post reported.

“Huge donation potential,” the person added.

Further in the text exchange, one person wrote that the panel was “advocating for an expansion of physical space.”

“Coming from such a privileged position…had to hear we have to cram into the Kraft Center. Huh??” wrote one person, referring to the center that houses the Columbia/Barnard Hillel chapter and provides services to Jewish students.

“Yep. Blind to the idea that Jews who don’t support Israel have no place to come together,” another person responded.

The transcripts were examined and released by the U.S. House Education Committee, chaired by Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

“Jewish students deserve better than to have harassment and threats against them dismissed as ‘privilege,’ and Jewish faculty members deserve better than to be ridiculed by their peers,” Foxx said, as reported by The Hill. “These text messages once again confirm the need for serious accountability across Columbia’s campus.”