Dr. Claudine Gay, Harvard University President, Resigns Amid Plagiarism Accusations

Dr. Claudine Gay, Harvard University President, Resigns Amid Plagiarism Accusations

01/02/2024 03:16 PM EST by Krista B.

Dr. Claudine Gay has resigned from her role as Harvard University President after new allegations of plagiarism have surfaced. 

Gay, was the first Black person and the second woman to be the president of Harvard and held that position for six months which is the university’s shortest tenure. Gay said in a statement, “It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president.” 

She continued, “This is not a decision I came to easily. Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries.” 

She added, “But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.” 

It was reported that a new unsigned complaint was filed with Harvard accusing Gay of six new allegations of plagiarism. Gay’s published academic work was under investigation by the Harvard Corporation and they found “several instances where she failed to adequately cite a source, and that she was requesting changes to two articles to correct that failure.”

Despite the allegations against her, Gay said that she was “standing by the integrity of my scholarship.” Gay and former President of the University of Pennsylvania, Liz Magill was heavily criticized for their responses to antisemitism on university campuses during the start of the Oct. 7th attack on Israel by the Palestinian group, Hamas to Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY.

When asked if they believed that calling for the genocide of Jews would violate their school’s code of conduct, they were called out for not directly answering the question. Magill would resign from her position on Dec. 10, while Gay kept her job for several more weeks. 

In response to Gay’s resignation, Elise Stefanik tweeted “TWO DOWN. @Harvard knows that this long overdue forced resignation of the antisemitic plagiarist president is just the beginning of what will be the greatest scandal of any college or university in history.” 

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The Harvard Corporation released a statement about Claudine Gay’s resignation. “While President Gay has acknowledged missteps and has taken responsibility for them, it is also true that she has shown remarkable resilience in the face of deeply personal and sustained attacks.”

It continued, “While some of this has played out in the public domain, much of it has taken the form of repugnant and in some cases racist vitriol directed at her through disgraceful emails and phone calls. We condemn such attacks in the strongest possible terms.”

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