House education committee threatens to subpoena Northwestern

June 10, 2024
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Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, says she’s prepared to subpoena Northwestern University to obtain documents the committee requested about alleged antisemitic incidents on campus.

Foxx accused Northwestern President Michael Schill, in a letter sent Friday, of obstructing the committee’s investigation and providing evasive and misleading testimony at a May 23 hearing. Ahead of that hearing, the committee requested a batch of documents, including records related to a pro-Palestinian encampment that students set up on campus and to alleged incidents of antisemitism on campus since Oct. 7.

Northwestern has since turned over 233 pages of documents—78 percent of which were not responsive to the committee’s requests, according to Foxx’s letter. Only 13 pages provided to the committee were responsive to the requests and weren’t already public, she said. That’s obstruction “unbecoming of a leading university,” Foxx wrote.

“Northwestern’s record suggests that it does not take complying with the Committee’s oversight efforts or upholding its Title VI obligations to protect Jewish students seriously,” she wrote. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect students from discrimination based on shared ancestry, which includes antisemitism.)

Foxx also took issue with Schill’s answers at the hearing. He pushed back on the premises of multiple questions and told lawmakers that he wouldn’t answer hypotheticals or yes or no questions.

“His defiant refusal to answer them demonstrated flagrant disrespect not only toward the Committee, but also Northwestern’s Jewish community,” Foxx wrote.

Foxx told Northwestern to turn over the documents by June 17 or face a subpoena. If Foxx follows through on her threat, it would mark the second time this year the committee has ordered an institution of higher education to turn over documents.



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