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Richmond District | Work continues on I-95 and E. Broad Street Bridge in Richmond “He must be out there

Three Columbia University administrators have been fired from their positions and placed on indefinite leave for sending controversial messages during a panel discussion on Jewish life at the university.

The leaked private text messages show that the three Columbia officials mocked witnesses who testified about anti-Semitism on campus.

Their dismissal from the administrative positions came after the House Education and Workforce Committee released some of the disturbing messages last week.

In some texts, critics of the university were allegedly accused of collecting donations by making allegations of anti-Semitism.

In another message, one of the administrators sent a puke emoji in response to a mention of an anti-Semitic comment 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 have their peers ridiculed,” said House Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina). “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 titled “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present, and Future.” The panel discussed the rampant anti-Semitic protests that had paralyzed Columbia University’s campus and lasted for weeks before the university administration finally called the police to break them up before graduation. The pro-Palestinian protesters had occupied an administrative building and set up a tent camp while threatening Jewish students on campus.

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

“This incident revealed behavior and sentiments that were not only unprofessional but also disturbingly resonated with long-standing anti-Semitic stereotypes,” Shafik wrote. “Whether intentional or not, these sentiments are unacceptable and deeply disturbing.”

Shafik said the messages express that “the concerns and experiences of members of our Jewish community are not taken seriously.”

Even though the three administrators will not resume their old positions, they are still formally employed by the university.

Shafik said the university will launch an “intensive” anti-Semitism and anti-discrimination training program for faculty and staff, as well as related training for students, in the fall.

JUNE 2024: Jewish students sue UCLA for allowing anti-Semitic activists to threaten them and block access