News and Commentary

GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik Responds After Harvard Cuts Her From Politics Advisory Board

"Congratulations Harvard, the entire Board of the Institute of Politics now consists only of Joe Biden voters – how reflective of America."
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York, questions witnesses during a House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry hearing on Capitol Hill November 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the fifth day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

Harvard has removed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) from her role on the senior advisory board of the university’s Institute of Politics for making claims about voter fraud that “have no basis in evidence.”

Dean of the Faculty of the Kennedy School Doug Elmendorf announced the action in an open letter to members of the Senior Advisory Committee on Tuesday. Elmendorf said that he first requested that the congresswoman step aside voluntarily, which she refused. He then ordered her off the board.

“I spoke with Elise and asked her to step aside from the Senior Advisory Committee. My request was not about political parties, political ideology, or her choice of candidate for president. Rather, in my assessment, Elise has made public assertions about voter fraud in November’s presidential election that have no basis in evidence, and she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect,” Elmendorf wrote. “Moreover, these assertions and statements do not reflect policy disagreements but bear on the foundations of the electoral process through which this country’s leaders are chosen.”

“In my conversation with Elise, she declined to step aside, and I told her that I would therefore remove her from the IOP’s Senior Advisory Committee at this time,” he said.

Stefanik, who graduated from Harvard in 2006, responded to Elmendorf in a statement of her own on Tuesday, accusing the university of intolerance and of cowering to the “woke left.” Stefanik also said that with her departure from the board, the remaining members consist “only of Joe Biden voters.” Stefanik stated:

As a conservative Republican, it is a rite of passage and a badge of honor to join the long line of leaders who have been boycotted, protested, and canceled by colleges and universities across America. The decision by Harvard’s administration to cower and cave to the woke Left will continue to erode diversity of thought, public discourse, and ultimately the student experience. The Ivory Tower’s march toward a monoculture of like-minded, intolerant liberal views illustrates the sneering disdain for everyday Americans and will instill a culture of fear for students who will understand that a conservative viewpoint will not be tolerated and will be silenced. During my time in Congress serving on the House Committee on Education and Labor, I have already taken on Harvard and won. Building a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress who successfully fought against Harvard’s unconstitutional attack on freedom of association for single-sex organizations remains one of my proudest achievements. I relish the opportunity to stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of thought on college campuses across America. Congratulations Harvard, the entire Board of the Institute of Politics now consists only of Joe Biden voters – how reflective of America.

Harvard’s decision to boot Stefanik from the board comes as private and public institutions continue to crack down on President Donald Trump and other Republicans in the wake of the riot in the U.S. Capitol. Last week, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

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