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Claudine Gay will teach ‘reading and research’ in fall 2024


ANALYSIS: Penn’s ousted president plans remain unclear

Harvard University’s former president who resigned after numerous plagiarism allegations is slated to teach a graduate level “Reading and Research” course this upcoming semester.

Professor Claudine Gay returned to teaching and her reportedly nearly $900,000 annual salary after resigning the presidency after ongoing plagiarism accusations and criticism of her response to campus antisemitism.

Her resignation followed that of University of Pennsylvania’s President Liz Magill, who resigned shortly after a December 2023 Congressional hearing on antisemitism. Magill, Gay, and MIT’s Sally Kornbluth were all criticized for their apathetic responses to antisemitism concerns.

Gay taught the same class in the spring. It is a graduate-level independent study type class.

Harvard’s media relations team has not responded to two emailed requests for comment in the past week and a half. The College Fix asked Harvard’s media team for confirmation on Gay’s teaching schedule, what she plans to do the rest of 2024, and what she has been doing since resigning.

The Fix also asked if Gay planned to address the plagiarism allegations in her current course as well as her comments on antisemitism.

Magill, though reported to be returning to teaching, does not appear in a course search for spring 2024 or summer 2024.

Penn’s Carey Law school does not list fall 2024 classes in its own course finder. It has not been reported what her salary as a professor is. Her predecessor, Amy Gutman, was making $22 million as president, according to the university’s 2023 tax filing. This was mostly due to a deferred compensation plan.

The student newspaper reported in June 2024 that Magill made $1 million.

The Fix emailed Penn’s media team twice in the past week and a half and left a voicemail on Wednesday with communications director Ron Ozio asking for comment on Magill’s status.

The Fix also emailed the law school on Thursday morning, but no responses have been received. Unlike Gay, Magill is not under scrutiny for accusations of plagiarism.

The leader of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni said the “circumstances” around both presidents and teaching “are quite different.”

“Although both of them disgraced themselves and higher education in their testimony to Congress, it was only Claudine Gay who will forever be under a cloud of academic misconduct,” President Michael Poliakoff said.

Plagiarism, Poliakoff said, whether committed by students or faculty “is such an egregious breach of ethics that the penalty for it is routinely long -term suspension or expulsion for students and termination for faculty.”

He questioned why Gay even rose to the presidency of Harvard, given her minimal academic work.

“Claudine Gay’s scholarly output is so slim as to raise the question of why she was ever elevated to such a level at Harvard,” Poliakoff said. “It seems utterly inappropriate for her to return to a tenured chair at Harvard, and for her to retain her outsize salary is an outrage to other citizens of the academy. The Harvard Corporation continues to bring shame upon itself.”

But Magill should be given a chance to return to the classroom, based on her academic work.

“In the case of Liz Magill, she should be evaluated objectively according to her record of teaching and scholarship, and given good performance, should be integrated into the academic community as any other professor would be treated,” Poliakoff said.

He said the two Ivy League universities must course correct and take on antisemitism and the problems of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Penn and Harvard need now to reckon with their hypocrisy in winking at campus anti-semitism, while claiming to be sanctuaries of inclusive and equitable virtue.,” he said. “The same tired virtue signaling of DEI generalities will not disguise the failure seen on October 8 [the day after Hamas attacked Israel] and thereafter and on December 5 [the day of the Congressional hearing].”

“Nor can these schools hide the breakdown of intellectual diversity on their faculties and in their administrations that has created echo chambers in which the specious arguments of ‘intersectionality’ and ‘oppressor-oppressed’ and unethical ‘cluster hires’ go unchallenged,” he said. “Bold new strategies of campus programming and faculty recruitment are in order.”

DEI initiatives and other virtue signaling, Poliakoff suggests, will not work anymore.

“It will take brave and visionary governing boards, alumni and donors to bring this to birth.”

Editor’s note: The article previously misidentified the salary for Liz Magill with the compensation for former President Amy Gutmann. Further information on Magill’s compensation has been added.

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Raleigh Adams is a student at Clemson University Honors College where she is studying political science and philosophy with an emphasis in the great books. She recently founded the Clemson Review, as well as the university's Thomistic Institute chapter. She was a 2022 Hudson Institute Political Studies fellow.