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January 1, Prestigious University Makes Major Cuts After Revealing Disturbing Text Messages

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Columbia University has “permanently removed” three staff members after they were caught sending text messages that pushed “ancient antisemitic tropes.”

The messages were allegedly sent during the “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present and Future” reunion event on campus, according to FOX 5.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik condemned the messages in a Monday letter to the Columbia community. She said the “unacceptable and deeply upsetting” exchange highlighted the lack of concern regarding negative experiences voiced by Jewish community members.

The university plans to launch a “vigorous program” of antisemitism and antidiscrimination training for faculty and staff in the fall.

“While this disturbing incident has presented us challenges as a community, Columbia’s leadership team recognizes this as an important moment to implement changes that will build a stronger institution as a result. I know that you all share this commitment,” he wrote.

Dean Josef Sorett, one of the staff members involved in the incident, apologized in his own letter on Monday.

“I am deeply sorry that this happened in a community that I lead and that I was part of any of the exchanges, and I pledge to spearhead the change we need to ensure this never happens again.”

The New York Post reported that Susan Chang-Kim, Matthew Patashnick and Cristen Kromm are the three administrators who have been removed. They have been on leave for the past month.

The incident comes three weeks after a Columbia University task force on campus antisemitism reported a string of disturbing incidents at the Ivy League university, exposing what it characterized as the “harassment of Jewish students” and antisemitic remarks made by professors.

One professor reportedly told his class to avoid the mainstream media because “it is owned by Jews.”

Task force members described a pattern of anti-Jewish bias at the Manhattan university, which has been plagued by anti-Israel protests since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre.

Jewish and Israeli students regularly felt “targeted and ostracized” on campus and were often singled out in the classroom, task force members said.

The report also found that professors repeatedly encouraged students to take part in the anti-Israel protests or the Gaza Solidarity Encampment. Some even offered extra credit or conducted classes at the protest site.

Columbia University did not immediately return a request for comment.

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