July 3, 2024

By Jackson Walker


Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., on Wednesday introduced legislation to hold university administrators accountable for antisemitism on their campuses.

The University Accountability Act would penalize a college if it fails to uphold students’ civil rights. It comes on the tail of an academic year during which Jewish students experienced heightened antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Schools found to be guilty of violating Title VI, which prohibits discrimination based on race or national origin, would be forced to pay a fine of $100,000 or 5% of its aggregate administrative compensation. Three such violations would prompt an IRS audit to potentially revoke a school’s tax-exempt status, according to the legislation.

“I will continue to lead the efforts ridding our higher education institutions of antisemitism,” Rep. Stefanik said. “With this new legislation, the University Accountability Act, we will impose penalties on universities who violate the civil rights of their own students including by failing to protect Jewish students from antisemitic hate. Hardworking taxpayers have no interest in funding institutions that fail to protect their students from antisemitic rhetoric and behavior and this bill puts their tax-exempt status on the chopping block.”

“Universities have a responsibility to protect their students from violence and discrimination and instead we’re seeing a disturbing increase in antisemitic attacks and rhetoric on college campuses,” Rep. Malliotakis added. “If these schools are receiving generous tax benefits from the federal government at the expense of American taxpayers, they should be doing more than simply giving a slap on the wrist to perpetrators of hate.”

House Republicans have made it a top priority to combat antisemitism as another academic year approaches. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce in June issued a deadline to Columbia University to produce texts from administrators which allegedly downplay campus antisemitism. Days later, the university placed three administrators allegedly connected to the texts on leave.