Three Columbia University deans placed on leave over disparaging texts amid antisemitism panel

Author:Arya Vaishnavi 2024-06-22 19:50 13

Three Columbia University deans have been put on administrative leave for disparaging text exchange during an antisemitism panel. The photographs of the insulting chat between Susan Chang-Kim, Matthew Patashnick and Cristen Kromm, all associate deans and administrators at Columbia, shared online included a vomiting face emoji and dismissive texts.

Three Columbia University deans have been placed on administrative leaves over disparaging text exchange during antisemitism panel on May 31(Getty Images)

Three Columbia deans placed on leave over hostile text exchange

The insulting texts were captured by an alumnus sitting in the crowd during the May 31 panel about Jewish life on the university's campus. The pictures quickly went viral online, garnering the attention of Congress. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican and chair of the committee, said, “I was appalled, but sadly not surprised, to learn Columbia administrators exchanged disparaging text messages during a panel that discussed antisemitism at the University.”

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As the panellists discussed the rising antisemitism on school campuses and its impact, the Columbia leaders mocked and dismissed their viewpoints via text messages. “This is difficult to listen to but I'm trying to keep an open mind to learn about this point of view,” Chang-Kim texted Josef Sorett, the dean of Columbia University, who replied with a “Yup.”

In another exchange, Pataschnick, Columbia’s associate dean for student and family support, accused an unknown member of the panel of exploiting the situation, saying, “He knows exactly what he’s doing and how to take full advantage of this moment. Huge fundraising potential,” per NY Post.

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However, a spokesperson for the school told Fox News, “The Dean of Columbia College informed his team today that three administrators have been placed on leave pending a university investigation of the incident that occurred at the College alumni reunion several weeks ago.” “We are committed to combatting antisemitism and taking sustained, concrete action to ensure Columbia is a campus where Jewish students and everyone in our community feels safe, valued, and able to thrive,” it added.

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Title:Three Columbia University deans placed on leave over disparaging texts amid antisemitism panel