Northwestern University accused of stonewalling anti-Israel unrest investigation by House panel


Congressional investigators are accusing Northwestern University’s president of stonewalling their investigation into the university’s response to anti-Israel unrest on its campus.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., the chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, sent a letter to Northwestern University leaders on Friday, slamming their failure to respond to lawmakers’ questions sent nearly a month ago.

“Unfortunately, rather than being cooperative and transparent, Northwestern has obstructed the committee’s investigation,” Foxx wrote.

Foxx told Fox News the lack of response by Northwestern suggested the university hasn’t been taking the threat of antisemitism on its campus seriously and that Jewish students there aren’t any safer today than they were a month ago.

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“We do not want to see these students going back on the campuses where they don’t feel safe, where they are not safe. We have to get to the bottom of this,” the congresswoman said.

The House committee launched its investigation after a group of students and faculty held a week of demonstrations on campus that included an encampment on Deering Meadow in late April, which ended after university officials reached a negotiated agreement with the protesters.

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UNITED STATES – DECEMBER: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., attends a news conference featuring remarks by college students about antisemitism on college campuses, in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Northwestern President Michael Schill defended those negotiations at a hearing on Capitol Hill on May 23, 2024, claiming he didn’t give in to any of the protesters’ demands, while also refusing to answer many of lawmakers’ questions.

Two weeks later, Foxx said school officials still were refusing to cooperate.

“Northwestern produced a mere 13 pages of documents responsive to the committee’s priority requests that were not already public,” Foxx wrote. “Despite the committee’s specific request for records such as notes, summaries, and recordings that would offer real insight into the board’s deliberations, Northwestern failed to produce any such responsive documents or certify that they do not exist.”

Fox News has reached out to Northwestern University for comment.

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Congressional investigators are giving Northwestern one week – until June 13 – to respond to their requests.

If the university fails to meet that deadline, Foxx said Northwestern will become just the second institution of higher education to be subpoenad by the House Committee on Education and Workforce going back to 1867. Earlier this year, Harvard became the first, over its refusal to cooperate with investigators looking into antisemitism on its campus.

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Also at stake for Northwestern is the hundreds of millions of dollars it receives each year in federal funding. In 2023 alone, the university received over $682 million in federal research grants. Foxx said if school officials were to continue ignoring Congress’ demands, that funding ultimately could be cut off.

“Northwestern’s capitulation to its antisemitic encampment and its impeding of the committee’s oversight are unbecoming of a leading university. Northwestern’s federal funding is predicated on adherence to its legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI),” Foxx wrote. “It is inappropriate to expect taxpayers to continue providing federal funding while Northwestern appears to be in violation of its obligations to its Jewish students, faculty, and staff under Title VI and defies the Committee’s oversight.”

Fox News’ Patrick McGovern contributed to this report.



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