Stefanik spars with head of top school over failing grade on antisemitism, stunning whistleblower claim

New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik sparred with the president of Northwestern University, Michael Schill, over his school earning an “F grade” for its handling of antisemitism, as well as whistleblowers’ claims regarding Schill allegedly looking to hire an anti-Zionist rabbi for the school. 

“Isn’t it true that you asked the Hillel director whether it was possible to hire an anti-Zionist” rabbi for the campus’ Jewish community? Stefanik asked Schill. 

“I did not. I absolutely did not. I would never hire anyone based upon their views of being Zionist or anti-Zionist. That is not what I do,” Schill responded. 

“That’s not according to the whistleblowers that have come forward to this committee,” Stefanik shot back. “… I can assure you many people have [spoken] to this committee.”

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Titled “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos,” Schill, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce regarding their “dereliction of” duty to Jewish students. 

Stefanik focused her initial lines of questioning at Schill, noting the elite university located outside of Chicago received an F grade in the Anti-Defamation League’s Campus Antisemitism Report Card this year. Northwestern was the only university in the nation to receive a downgraded score in the report card. 

“​​I’m asking the question, you’re required to answer. Isn’t it true that a Jewish Northwestern student was assaulted?” Stefanik asked Schill. 

“There are allegations that a Jewish student was assaulted. We are investigating those allegations,” Schill continued. 

“Isn’t it true that a Jewish student was verbally harassed and stalked to Hillel?” Stefanik continued. 

“There were allegations of that sort, and we are investigating them,” Schill responded. 

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“Isn’t it true that a Jewish student wearing a yarmulke was spat on,” Stefanik said, before asking how long Schill anticipates campus investigations will last regarding instances of antisemitism on campus. 

“I’m not going to be able to tell you that. They’ll be finalized when the conduct office and the Title VI office, which are well on this issue…” Schill said. 

“This is why you’ve earned an F,” she said. 

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Northwestern has been hit with lawsuits regarding its handling of antisemitism, including a class action suit filed this week accusing the school of failing to protect Jewish students. 

Northwestern Kellogg School of Management student Zeev Wolf Cukiert Sztrigler told Fox News Digital this week that Schill’s “only sensible action” at this point is to resign, saying he faced assault on campus. 

“I was assaulted by (an) NU affiliate. How does striking a deal make me and other Jewish students safer if the assailant walks around campus feeling empowered? The only sensible action President Schill can do at this point is resign,” he said.

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Northwestern became the first school in the nation to publicly announce that university leaders struck a deal with campus agitators, allowing students to review school investments connected to Israel and to fund Palestinian-related scholarships and faculty salaries in exchange for protesters largely dismantling their encampment. 

The ADL subsequently circulated a petition calling for Schill’s resignation, arguing he “rewarded” campus agitators with the negotiations. 

“Jewish Northwestern students have been harassed and intimidated by blatant antisemitism on campus, worsening since October 7,” the Anti-Defamation League wrote in a petition earlier this month. “Protestors openly mocked and violated Northwestern’s codes of conduct and policies by erecting an encampment that fanned the flames of anti-Jewish hate. 

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“This week, instead of holding the protestors accountable, Northwestern’s President Michael Schill rewarded them with negotiations and an agreement granting some of their demands. President Michael Schill’s actions amount to giving in to hatred and bigotry, empowering and emboldening those who have used intimidation, harassment, and violence to achieve their goals.”

The committee holding the hearing Thursday is the same panel that grilled the presidents of Penn, Harvard and MIT last year about their handling of campus antisemitism. The hearing was shortly followed by Penn President Liz Magill and Harvard President Claudine Gay resigning from their positions amid widespread backlash for waffling on whether calls for the genocide of Jews violated their respective schools’ codes of conduct. 

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