Lasted just over six months in office
Claudine Gay will resign as president of Harvard University, the Ivy League school announced today.
She has repeatedly faced plagiarism accusations, including a fresh complaint filed just yesterday. Gay appeared to blame the criticism at least partially on “racial animus” toward her as a black woman.
“My deep sense of connection to Harvard and its people has made it all the more painful to witness the tensions and divisions that have riven our community in recent months, weakening the bonds of trust and reciprocity that should be our sources of strength and support in times of crisis,” she wrote in a statement on Tuesday.
“Amidst all of this, it has been distressing to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor—two bedrock values that are fundamental to who I am—and frightening to be subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus,” she wrote.
Gay’s resignation comes less than a month after she and the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Institute of Technology faced criticism for their handling of antisemitism on campus.
All three were heavily criticized for their apathetic response to questions asked by New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik if “calling for the genocide of Jews” violated the schools’ codes of conduct.
Penn’s president, Liz Magill, resigned soon after the hearing. MIT President Sally Kornbluth remains in office.
Gay took office beginning in July 2023. The Harvard Crimson reported:
The Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — is expected to announce the resignation to Harvard affiliates in an email later today. Gay is also expected to make a statement about the decision.
The announcement comes three weeks after the Corporation announced unanimous support for Gay after “extensive deliberations” following the congressional hearing.
The Crimson reported Gay’s time in office is the “shortest presidency” in school history.
Journalist Christopher Rufo, who was one of the first to publish an investigation into Gay’s plagiarism, took a victory lap on X, formerly known as Twitter. So did independent journalist Chris Brunet, who teamed up with Rufo to publish plagiarism accusations against Gay.
To all of my critics who snidely dismissed me as a “bad-faith actor” and a “cartoon villain”: I was right. You were wrong. Gay is gone.
The world of politics cannot be divided neatly between “good actors” and “bad actors.” Reality is not a Marvel movie; politics is not a child’s…
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) January 2, 2024
“To all of my critics who snidely dismissed me as a ‘bad-faith actor’ and a ‘cartoon villain’: I was right. You were wrong. Gay is gone,” Rufo wrote.
The university originally cleared Gay of plagiarism accusations, but looked at just three of her papers. The university also reportedly threatened the New York Post with a defamation lawsuit for continuing to ask questions about plagiarism.
“There is one standard for me and my peers and another, much lower standard for our University’s president,” the student wrote several days ago in the student newspaper. “The Corporation should resolve the double standard by demanding her resignation.”
Gay will remain at Harvard as a professor.
Editor’s note: The article was updated with quotes from Gay.
IMAGE: The Harvard Crimson