Penn began sending documents to the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Wednesday, a Committee spokesperson told The Daily Pennsylvanian.
This comes after Committee Chair Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) sent a letter to Interim Penn President Larry Jameson and University Board of Trustees Chair Ramanan Raghavendran on Jan. 24, citing “grave concerns” about the University’s response to antisemitism on campus. Foxx set Feb. 7 as the deadline for Penn to respond with the appropriate documents — including those pertaining to antisemitism or anti-Zionism on campus, pro-Palestine groups and actions at Penn, foreign donations to the University, and data on Jewish enrollment.
However, the University spokesperson told the DP that the process of transferring documents would last multiple weeks — meaning Penn may not be fully compliant with the Feb. 7 deadline included in the letter.
A House education committee spokesperson confirmed to the DP that the committee has received documents and is currently reviewing them.
The initial letter claimed that Penn has an “environment of pervasive antisemitism,” referencing campus events since September 2023 and the decline of Penn’s Jewish undergraduate population in recent years as reasons for the investigation and subsequent document retrieval.
In the letter, the committee requested 25 groups of documents related to antisemitic acts on campus and Penn’s disciplinary response to these acts. The requested information included activity by the Board of Trustees, findings by the University's antisemitism task force, and administrative communications surrounding the Palestine Writes festival.
Earlier on Feb. 7, the Committee on Education and the Workforce issued a final warning to Harvard Corporation Senior Fellow Penny Pritzker and Interim President Alan Garber for Harvard to fully comply with its own request for documents and information. The letter suggested that Harvard was “obstructing” the committee’s investigation.
The committee’s initial investigation began on Dec. 7 following a congressional hearing on antisemitism with former Penn President Liz Magill, former Harvard University President Claudine Gay, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth. Two days following the hearing, Magill and former Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok resigned.
During the hearing, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked Magill whether individuals who call for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s policies or code of conduct.
“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” Magill said. “It is a context dependent decision.”
Following this response and the subsequent backlash, the committee announced their investigation with the “full force of subpoena power,” with Stefanik referencing the “pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents” as its motive.
Penn has also been under investigation by several other agencies in the past few months.
The Department of Education launched its own investigation into antisemitism on Nov. 16, 2023, though it has since been dismissed due to the existence of a lawsuit containing the same allegations. The House Ways and Means Committee also began probing Penn on Jan. 10, questioning the University’s tax-exempt status over the University’s alleged lack of support for Jewish students on campus.