Tim Tai, Senior Photographer

University President Peter Salovey has been called to testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about campus antisemitism, per a press release shared by the committee on Tuesday.

Salovey is called to appear in Congress on May 23 alongside the University of California, Los Angeles President Gene Block and University of Michigan President Santa Ono for the committee hearing titled “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.” 

“The university has received the invitation,” a University spokesperson wrote on behalf of Salovey to the News’ inquiry on whether Salovey would attend the hearing and his reaction to the announcement. The spokesperson did not further elaborate on whether Salovey will testify on May 23. 

Education and Workforce Committee Chair Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said in a press release that the May hearing would concern the summoned presidents’ handling of recent campus protests.

Foxx said that college and university campuses are “not a park for playacting juveniles or a battleground for radical activists” and that the hearing would serve as a “healthy dose of reality” for those affiliated with institutions rocked by demonstrations.

“The Committee has a clear message for mealy-mouthed, spineless college leaders: Congress will not tolerate your dereliction of your duty to your Jewish students,” Foxx said. “No stone must go unturned while buildings are being defaced, campus greens are being captured, or graduations are being ruined.”

When the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Claudine Gay, Liz Magill ’88 and Sally Kornbluth, respectively — were called to testify at the Education and Workforce Committee’s Dec. 5 congressional hearing, Salovey was not invited and told the News that he did not know why he was not invited to testify. Unlike Salovey, the three presidents called before Congress then were new to their roles. 

Following the December hearing and backlash to the presidents’ answers, both Ivy League presidents Gay and Magill resigned from their posts. Columbia University President Minouche Shafik, who began her term July 1, declined an invitation to the Dec. 5 congressional hearing, citing a scheduling conflict at the United Nations’ COP28 conference in Dubai. However, Shafik appeared before Congress on April 17 and stood firmly against campus antisemitism, eschewing an intense focus on free speech that the presidents at the December hearing had.

The announcement from the House committee also follows the arrests of more than 1,000 demonstrators throughout the nation calling on higher education institutions to divest from military weapons manufacturers.

Shortly after 6 a.m. on April 22, 48 protesters at Yale were arrested and charged with Class A misdemeanors on Beinecke Plaza where students had set up tents during the third night of their overnight encampment. The pro-Palestine protesters then erected a new encampment on Sunday afternoon with roughly 40 tents on Cross Campus after a mass rally of over 1,000 protesters marched through the streets of downtown New Haven and Yale’s campus. Police officers then cleared that encampment on Tuesday morning but made no arrests.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who led the intense questioning during the Dec. 5 hearing, said in a press conference that college and university presidents are lacking “moral leadership.”

“There are dozens of these antisemitic encampments across the country,” Stefanik said. “These mobs are breaking university rules, leading to the targeting and harassment of Jewish students and faculty.”

Unlike Gay, Kornbluth and Shafik, who all had less than a year’s experience before their hearings, Salovey has held Yale’s presidency for 11 years. Magill served less than two years as UPenn president. Salovey is also set to step down from his role on June 30. 

The hearing will be held at 2175 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Correction, May 1The language in the article has been updated to reflect the fact that Salovey has not confirmed he will testify.

Benjamin Hernandez covers Woodbridge Hall, the President's Office. He previously reported on international affairs at Yale. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, he is a sophomore in Trumbull College majoring in Global Affairs.