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What to Expect From the Latest Hearing on Campus Protests

The three college leaders testifying in front of a congressional committee on Thursday will arrive well aware of the high-profile crises that can be born from a misstep or a verbal fumble. Other higher education leaders who sat in the same seat over the last several months came away facing worsening problems, including intensified criticism from an array of constituents and spreading protests. Two eventually resigned.

The latest group, which for the first time includes two public university leaders, are likely to be asked similar questions from the Republican lawmakers who invited them, but the agenda has shifted.

Two of the schools, Northwestern and Rutgers, cut deals to end pro-Palestinian encampments on their campuses — agreements that resulted in intense backlash from some politicians and Jewish organizations. The third school, the University of California, Los Angeles, has faced criticism from across the political spectrum for failing to prevent a violent clash in which pro-Israel counterprotesters violently attacked the demonstrators.

The hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, scheduled for 9:45 a.m., will be the fourth time in recent months that education leaders have been called to testify about accusations of campus antisemitism. Two of those hearings, which focused on elite private universities, did not go well for the educators, leading to resignations, criticism from donors and broadening unrest.

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