Harvard attempts to ‘smooth things over’ with Silicon Valley after disastrous antisemitism controversy: report

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Harvard University's $51 billion endowment sought to reassure Silicon Valley leaders by meeting with wealthy investors in response to the university's response to the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

According to a report from wall street journalexecutives from Harvard Management Company, which manages the nation's largest university endowment, met with three Northern California Silicon Valley firms: Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz.

In addition to meeting with companies in the tech hub, they also met with Israeli-born investor Elad Gil and Patrick Collison, CEO of payments company Stripe. Harvard University is a direct investor in Stripe.

Mr. Gill and Mr. Collison were outspoken critics of the Ivy League university after former President Claudine Gay's testimony to Congress sparked intense national criticism of the university's stance on anti-Semitism on campus. ing.

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Split image of Harvard University Gate and Dr. Claudine Gay (Getty Images)

In a post by X on December 6th, Collison wrote: He said he was “shocked” by the “shameful and evasive” responses of university presidents at Congressional hearings on anti-Semitism on campuses at MIT, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

“I was shocked to see the presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania decline to condemn calls for genocide in their congressional testimony yesterday. I ended up watching several hours of the hearing, and the answer was shameful. It was as vague as it should have been, it was vague all the way through,” Collison said. He said. “As a graduate (albeit briefly) of these first organizations, something seems very broken.”

Video board monitor truck drives near Harvard University president's home

A videoboard monitor truck drives near the Harvard University president's home on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. Harvard University President Claudine Gay has resigned from her leadership position following a plagiarism and anti-Semitism scandal. (Hans Pennink, FOX News Digital)

The Journal reported that Harvard representatives tried to rebuild relationships at the meeting and assure investors that the university prioritizes student safety and free speech.

Presidents of Harvard University, University of Michigan and Eupen University denounce rising anti-Semitism, equating it with a rare form of Islamophobia

“HMC is fortunate to have strong, long-standing relationships with many investment managers who care deeply about higher education,” Patrick McKiernan, a spokesman for the Harvard University Endowment, told the Journal. Ta. “It is important that we engage with our partners and share all the ways Harvard is actively working to keep students safe and protect free speech.”

harvard university gates

People walk through the gates of Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Getty Images)

According to the WSJ, Gay's resignation has allayed some executives' concerns.

Paul Finnegan, the foundation's chairman and a member of the 12-person Harvard Corporation that oversees the university, said the university's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has increased in recent years. The university said it was aware that there had been criticism that it had gone too far.

Billionaire Bill Ackman condemns anti-Semitism on Harvard campus in forced open letter

HMC leaders also said they recognize that with the increasing prevalence of DEI on campus, some students and professors feel they have to censor themselves.

According to a WSJ report, executives said Harvard is considering policy changes to accommodate the expansion of academic freedom and free speech.

bill ackman

Bill Ackman sent a letter to former President Claudine Gaye on November 4th after testifying to Congress. (Chris Ratcliffe/Michael Fine/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The pressure on Harvard University's money managers came after an unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas.

Investors were concerned about what they viewed as Harvard's slow response to the attacks and anti-Semitism under Gay, leading to donors cutting off support for the school.

Billionaire Bill Ackman He sent a long letter to the former president of his alma mater about anti-Semitism on campus, which he published on social media.


On November 4th, Ackman posted on X (formerly Twitter), “It is with regret that I am writing this letter to you.''

The hedge fund manager said Gay, a former president of Harvard University, was “an exclusionist; anti-semitic remarks Some protesters will be allowed on campus. ”

Harvard University did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital.



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