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Fox News
Fox News
15 Dec 2023

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Three House Republican women are showing the country exactly how to deal with elitist university leaders who think they are above the law. 

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik recently gave a master class on how to question a hostile witness. When, as a Harvard graduate, Stefanik repeatedly asked Harvard President Claudine Gay whether she could condemn advocating genocide of Jews at a hearing on antisemitism on college campuses, the moment was electrifying.

Gay and two other university presidents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania spent the hearing dodging simple, direct questions about dealing with open antisemitism on their campuses. It was pathetic and hypocritical. The three leaders personified the insanity of wokeness which has taken over our elite universities. 


Stefanik was so effective that the video of her interrogation is now one of the most viewed hearings in congressional history. There have been more than a billion views, and the number keeps growing.

As a result of Stefanik’s questioning, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill left her post.

As Heather Mac Donald summarized for City Journal:

"Liz Magill was forced to resign Saturday as president of the University of Pennsylvania—by all indications because, at a congressional hearing, she could not bring herself to declare that calls for the genocide of Jews are punishable speech. She would more justly have lost her job for being a bald-faced hypocrite when it comes to campus free expression. The future of higher education depends on which of these motives governs such decisions in the future."


By contrast, Harvard’s governing body supported President Gay. However, it has now come to light that she plagiarized parts her dissertation and several other academic papers. Harvard’s policy about plagiarism is clear: "Falsification of research results includes misrepresentations, distortions, or serious omissions in data or reports on research and is considered a serious violation of academic honesty. Plagiarism or falsification of research results will ordinarily result in the requirement to withdraw from Harvard."

In fact, 27 undergraduates were forced to leave Harvard in the 2020-2021 school year.

Yet, it appears Harvard is now performing rhetorical gymnastics to defend its already humiliated president. The insider club appears to be rallying around her. But the hypocrisy and dishonesty are beginning to affect Harvard’s reputation.

While Stefanik was busy creating a public record about elite university cowardice, two other House GOP women were busy passing substantive legislation that will hold universities much more accountable.

Congresswoman Michelle Steele introduced a bill to force colleges and universities to report all foreign gifts. While it is already a legal requirement to report any foreign donation of $250,000 or more, the elite universities simply refused to comply. Despite serious efforts by the Trump administration’s Department of Education, these elite universities decline to report many millions of dollars of overseas gifts. (My co-author Claire Christensen and I got involved in this project during our research for "Trump vs.China.")

Michelle Steel Republican China

Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., (2nd L) talks with reporters during a news conference with (L-R) House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., following a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on October 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, was a cosponsor of the bill and worked to make it a bipartisan project. According to the committee’s statement:

"The House passed H.R. 5933, the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions (DETERRENT) Act, bipartisan legislation that brings much-needed transparency, accountability, and clarity to foreign gift reporting requirements for colleges and universities across the nation. As the Committee said ‘The is the first in a series of bills to reform the Higher Education Act.’"

On the floor, the bill passed decisively with 31 Democrats joining 215 Republicans in bipartisan support of more transparency from universities and colleges.

These two steps, one investigatory, and one legislative, are signs of real progress. They would not have happened without Republican control of the House of Representatives – or the leadership of these remarkable Republican women.

Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-1999 and a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He is chairman of Gingrich 360.