Disgraced Harvard president Claudine Gay has resigned just over six months into her scandal-plagued term.
Over the past few weeks, Gay has faced mounting criticism and calls to step down over not only her handling of antisemitism on campus in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, but accusations of plagiarism as well.
This is Claudine Gay’s resignation letter. Rather than take responsibility for minimizing antisemitism, committing serial plagiarism, intimidating the free press, and damaging the institution, she calls her critics racist. This is the poison of DEI ideology. Glad she’s gone. pic.twitter.com/WlqMKLn6pA
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) January 2, 2024
“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,” Gay wrote in her resignation letter. “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.”
“After consultation with members of the Corporation,” she added, “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.”
She said it had been “distressing” to have doubt cast on her “commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor,” chalking it up to “personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus.”
The news was first reported by the Harvard Crimson, as sources with knowledge of the embattled leader’s decision confirmed that she would, indeed, be stepping down by the end of the day Tuesday.
Over the past few weeks, Gay has faced mounting criticism and calls to resign over not only her handling of antisemitism on campus in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, but accusations of plagiarism as well.
Shortly after the war began, a number of student groups signed a joint letter calling Israel an “apartheid regime,” and saying it was “the only one to blame” for the terror.
Gay had released a statement regarding the atrocities committed by the terrorist organization, but following backlash over the aforementioned letter, she eventually revised it to distance the institution from the student groups.
Antisemitism has become such an issue on campus that Harvard is now the subject of an investigation by the Department of Justice, and Gay was asked to testify on the issue before Congress.
During that testimony, she claimed that determining whether calls for the genocide of Jews violated the school’s code of conduct depended on the context in which the words were uttered, a move that sparked backlash.
As if that wasn’t enough, a short time later she became embroiled in another scandal, with revelations emerging that she had plagiarized a number of her academic works, including her 1997 PhD dissertation.
Investigations into the papers by the Fellows of Harvard found that Gay in fact did have instances of “inadequate citation” in her work, though they did not constitute a “violation of Harvard’s standards for research misconduct.” Gay has requested a chance to correct her mistakes.