Her departure makes her the second college president to resign after a tense exchange with Stefanik in a congressional hearing last month with the presidents from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania.

“Two down,” Stefanik said in a statement. “Harvard knows that this long overdue forced resignation of the antisemitic plagiarist president is just the beginning of what will be the greatest scandal of any college or university in history.”

Gay announced her resignation on Tuesday after several allegations of plagiarism as well as scrutiny over her answer about whether antisemitic comments from students would violate the school’s code of conduct, according to the Harvard Crimson, the school’s newspaperIn her statement, Gay announced her intent to return to Harvard’s faculty.

“This is not a decision I came to easily,” Gay wrote on Tuesday. “But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”

Stefanik has led the charge against the rise in reports of antisemitic attacks on college campuses across the United States, particularly since war broke out in Israel in early October. The House Republican Conference leader introduced a resolution last month denouncing those attacks, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The resolution also condemned the testimony of the three college presidents who struggled to articulate their positions on whether students calling for the genocide of Jews would violate the schools’ codes of conduct.

The hearing specifically focused on the hundreds of protests and counterprotests on college campuses since the Hamas militant group attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Protests have resulted in physical fights and, in some cases, death threats, prompting criticism of the lack of action by college leadership.

At one point during the hearing, Stefanik pressed Penn President Elizabeth Magill on whether calling for genocide “constitute[s] bullying or harassment,” which resulted in a tense back-and-forth between the two.

“If it is directed and severe, pervasive, it is harassment,” Magill responded, adding later, “It is a context-dependent decision, congresswoman.”

“That’s your testimony today?” Stefanik shot back. “Calling for the genocide of Jews is depending upon the context?”

The exchange resulted in sharp backlash, including widespread calls for Magill and the other presidents to resign from their top positions. Magill resigned just four days later.

Other Republicans were quick to respond to the news of Gay’s resignation, with a handful crediting Stefanik for her departure.

“This would not have happened without the tenacity of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik,” Kari Lake, who is running for Senate in Arizona, said in a social media post. “Thank you for exposing the rot on college campuses.”

Stefanik indicated she would not stop pressing for more resignations, including from members of the Harvard Corporation board who previously defended Gay in light of the accusations.

“Stay tuned,” Stefanik said. “They are complicit in covering up this massive scandal with unbelievable arrogance and cavalier attitudes that irreparably damaged Harvard’s academic integrity and moral leadership.”

Gay’s resignation comes just six months after she assumed the presidency, marking the shortest presidential tenure in the school’s history. Dr. Alan Garber is expected to become the interim president once Gay exits, a source familiar with the matter told the Boston Globe.


Read the article in the Washington Examiner here.