3 administrators at Columbia University dismissed over texts on antisemitic tropes

Columbia University has removed three administrators from their positions for allegedly sending text messages that “disturbingly touched on ancient antisemitic tropes” during a forum on Jewish issues.

Cristen Kromm, former dean of undergraduate student life; Matthew Patashnick, former associate dean for student and family assistance; and Susan Chang-Kim, former vice dean and chief administrative officer.

They were accused of exchanging text messages in May of this year.

The claims were made in a letter issued to the university community by Columbia officials on Monday.

Columbian President Nemat Shafik condemned the text messages as “unacceptable and deeply upsetting, conveying a lack of seriousness about the concerns and experiences of members of our Jewish community.”

Ms Shafik stated that the messages were completely contrary to the university’s beliefs and standards.

She noted that administrators are still employed by the university, but they have been placed on indefinite leave and will not return to their prior positions.

The sanctions imposed on the three administrators are the latest fallout from an incident that some Columbia graduates have dubbed “Textgate.”

Columbia University, on the other hand, declared that students, faculty, and staff members would begin receiving the required anti-discrimination training, with a focus on antisemitism, starting this fall.

The new announcement occurred a few months after a conservative website published images of some of the administrators’ text messages.

It also came after weeks of agitation at Columbia over the war in Gaza, with the university emerging as the epicentre of a nationwide protest movement.

On May 31, after a student protest to confront antisemitism on college campuses, Columbia presented a panel discussion titled “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present, and Future” during its reunion weekend.

Antisemitism on college campuses has been a major concern for Republican politicians in Washington.