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Published on February 26, 2024
Harvard Business School Professor Resigns from Antisemitism Task Force Over Implementation ConcernsSource: Google Street View

Harvard Business School professor Raffaella Sadun is stepping down from her position as co-chair of the presidential task force on antisemitism at Harvard University, citing frustrations over the institution's inaction on the task force's forthcoming recommendations, The Crimson reported. According to sources familiar with Sadun's thinking, the professor had hoped for a commitment from Harvard to act on the recommendations.

Sadun had served the task force for less than 40 days before her resignation. She joins Rabbi David J. Wolpe who previously resigned from an antisemitism advisory committee at Harvard, making it the second high-profile departure from groups formed to tackle bias at the institution. Harvard spokesperson Jonathan L. Swain declined to comment on Sadun’s frustrations, and Sadun herself did not respond to requests for comment on her resignation.

In his response to inquiries about the resignation, Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber conveyed gratitude for Sadun's contributions, stating, "Her insights and passion for this work have helped shape the mandate for the task force and how it can best productively advance the important work ahead." Despite such acknowledgments, actions and implementations of the task force's recommendations remain uncertain.

The discussion around the effectiveness and the leadership of Harvard's task forces has attracted attention outside the university as well. Ackman ’88, a hedge fund manager and Harvard alumnus, commented on the matter, sarcastically remarking, "The half life of a ⁦Harvard⁩ antisemitism task force member is about 60 days," in a post noted by The Crimson. The composition of the task forces was only fully revealed one month after their inception, with History professor Derek J. Penslar and Harvard Law School professor Jared A. Ellias now at the helm of the antisemitism task force.

Sadun did not elaborate on the specific reasons for her resignation. In a statement she said, "I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help advance the vital work to combat antisemitism and believe that President Garber has assembled an excellent task force," according to a statement shared with The Crimson. She indicated her intent to continue supporting the fight against antisemitism at Harvard from her faculty position.