Billionaire Bill Ackman posted a 4,000-word essay arguing that his alma mater’s policies on diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, are “the root cause of antisemitism” at the Ivy League school — even as he called for an overhaul of its governing board.
Hours after celebrating Harvard President Claudine Gay’s resignation, Ackman shared to X at 2:03 a.m. Wednesday that it wasn’t just the nearly 50 allegations of plagiarism against the embattled administrator that concerned him, but also concerns that “DEI is racist.”
“The E for ‘equity’ in DEI is about equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity,” wrote Ackman, the 57-year-old founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management.
“DEI is racist because reverse racism is racism, even if it is against white people (and it is remarkable that I even need to point this out),” Ackman added in the lengthy post.
He continued: “Under DEI, one’s degree of oppression is determined based upon where one resides on a so-called intersectional pyramid of oppression where whites, Jews and Asians are deemed oppressors, and a subset of people of color, LGBTQ people and/or women are deemed to be oppressed.”
Ackman bashed this ideology as one where “there is no such thing as being ‘non racist.’”
“Under DEI’s ideology, any policy, program, educational system, economic system, grading system, admission policy, (and even climate change due its disparate impact on geographies and the people that live there), etc. that leads to unequal outcomes among people of different skin colors is deemed racist,” he added.
“As a result, according to DEI, capitalism is racist, Advanced Placement exams are racist, IQ tests are racist, corporations are racist, or in other words, any merit-based program, system or organization which has or generates outcomes for different races that are at variance with the proportion these different races represent in the population at large is by definition racist under DEI’s ideology.”
Ackman also blamed the DEI movement as “an important contributor to our growing divisiveness,” noting that it has bred resentment, “one of the most important drivers of racism.”
“All of the above said, it is one thing to give disadvantaged people the opportunities and resources so that they can help themselves. It is another to select a candidate for admission or for a leadership role when they are not qualified to serve in that role,” Ackman said, noting that the latter “appears to have been the case with former President Gay’s selection.”
Ackman added that he thinks the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, which Gay created, should also be shut down and that universities should seek out “capable business people for the role of president.”
“The Board should not be principally comprised of individuals who share the same politics and views about DEI,” Ackman wrote. “The new board members should be chosen in a transparent process with the assistance of the 30-person Board of Overseers.”
Ackman also cited a Post article that revealed Harvard’s board, in response to the plagiarism scandal, “also apparently sought to identify the whistleblower and seek retribution against him or her in contravention to the University’s whistleblower protection policies.”
Ackman concluded his post by calling for the resignation of the Harvard Corporation Board members who backed Gay, even after a disastrous congressional testimony about antisemitic protests on campuses.
“The Board Chair, Penny Pritzker, should resign along with the other members of the board who led the campaign to keep Claudine Gay, orchestrated the strategy to threaten the media, bypassed the process for evaluating plagiarism, and otherwise greatly contributed to the damage that has been done,” according to Ackman.
“These are the minimum changes necessary to begin to repair the damage that has been done,” he said.
Ackman cited Gay’s shoddy response to the surge of on-campus antisemitism in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, including the release of a controversial letter co-signed by more than 30 student organizations that held Israel “entirely responsible” for the terrorist group’s mass slaughter.
During an exchange with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) before Congress last month, Gay was asked whether calling for the genocide of Jews on campus violates the university’s codes of conduct related to bullying and harassment.
Gay said it would depend on the “context” of the incident — a response that ignited an onslaught of backlash against the Harvard president, who served the shortest tenure in Harvard’s history, just six months and two days.
Representatives for Ackman at Pershing Square declined The Post’s request for comment.