Harvard President Claudine Gay Resigns Amid Plagiarism Scandal, Backlash Over Response to Antisemitism on Campus

Gay’s tenure marks the shortest presidency in the university’s history

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Harvard president Claudine Gay will resign Tuesday afternoon, closing out the shortest presidency in the college’s history.

Gay confirmed the news in a letter to the Harvard community. She served as president of the university for six months and two days.

“I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I came to easily,” Gay wrote in the statement. “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. But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resignt so that our community can nagivate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”

The Harvard Crimson broke the news.

Gay faces a new round of plagiarism accusations in her scholarly work stemming from an unsigned complaint published in The Washington Free Beacon on Monday.

The Harvard leader became the second Ivy League executive to lose her job in recent weeks following congressional testimony about antisemitism on college campuses in the wake of the Hamas invasion of Israel on Oct. 7.

“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” Gay wrote in her letter. “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 feueled by racial animus.”

Gay was the university’s first Black president and second woman to helm the institution.


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