Youngkin appoints Brandeis Center’s Ken Marcus to George Mason board of visitors

The university is currently facing a federal Title VI civil rights investigation over alleged antisemitism and Islamophobia

Brandeis Center

Kenneth Marcus

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced on Friday that he had appointed Kenneth Marcus, the founder of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, as a member of the board of visitors of George Mason University in Fairfax County, Va.

Marcus is a former assistant secretary of education for civil rights, and his work has focused intensely on antisemitism on college campuses. George Mason, a public university, is currently under Department of Education investigation for alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act over accusations of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“I am grateful to Governor Youngkin for appointing me to this position at George Mason — a university that has been near and dear to my heart for many years,” Marcus said in a statement. “I’ve been proud to support Governor Youngkin’s recent work combating antisemitism here in Virginia – including his leadership in legislation adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. I was also pleased to address Governor Youngkin’s Commission to Combat Antisemitism, which made significant contributions to the well-being of Virginians — and I deeply appreciate his support for adding my voice to the Board.”

The George Mason branch of Students for Justice in Palestine posted a statement days after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack praising the attack and hosted a rally where chants calling for the elimination of Israel were reportedly heard.

GMU played host to the national SJP conference in 2016. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is currently investigating American Muslims for Palestine, a group involved with supporting and organizing SJP chapters, accusing it of potentially supporting terrorist groups.

Members of the board of visitors — 16 in total — serve four-year terms and are responsible for policy-making and oversight at the school, including hiring and salaries for faculty and staff and academic programs.

Marc Short, the former chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence; Nina Rees, a former leader of the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the Department of Education and charter school advocate; and Jon Peterson, a real estate CEO, are joining the board alongside Marcus.

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