Three Columbia Deans Suspended for Behavior at Antisemitism Panel

Columbia University Administrators on Leave Amid Antisemitism Investigation

Columbia University has placed three administrators on leave following an investigation into their conduct at an alumni panel discussion on antisemitism. The move came after leaked images surfaced showing the administrators sharing disparaging text messages during the event.

Alumni Panel Discussion on Antisemitism

The panel, which focused on Jewish life on campus amidst tensions over Israel’s war in Gaza, took place during a Columbia College reunion on May 31.

Administrators Involved

The administrators placed on leave were Susan Chang-Kim, the vice dean and chief administrative officer; Cristen Kromm, the dean of undergraduate student life; and Matthew Patashnick, the associate dean for student and family support. The exchanged text messages were first acquired by The Washington Free Beacon.

Text Message Exchanges

During the event, Ms. Chang-Kim and Mr. Sorett exchanged messages, with Mr. Sorett responding with “LMAO” to a sarcastic message from Ms. Chang-Kim about Brian Cohen, the executive director of Columbia/Barnard Hillel.

Cooperation with Investigation

Mr. Sorett is cooperating with the investigation and will be recused from related matters while continuing to serve as dean. Attempts to reach Mr. Sorett and the other administrators for comment were unsuccessful.

Controversy and Responses

The controversy arose during a discussion on the climate at Columbia since Hamas’s attack on Israel, the responsibility of universities to ensure the safety of all students, and how Columbia can move forward. The incident is part of a series of controversies at the university amid the Israel-Hamas conflict and campus protests.

Call for Transparency

Virginia Foxx, chair of the House Committee on Education & the Workforce, demanded that the university share the administrators’ text messages with the committee by June 26. She expressed disappointment in the administrators’ behavior and emphasized the need for accountability.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-06-22 22:42:11

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