Harvard Corporation stands by Claudine Gay amid antisemitism controversy and plagiarism accusations

After a meeting on Monday evening, the Harvard Corporation issued a statement on Tuesday morning affirming its continued support for Gay's leadership.

Harvard Corporation stands by Claudine Gay amid antisemitism controversy and plagiarism accusations
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
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Despite controversies surrounding President Claudine Gay's recent Congressional testimony on antisemitism and emerging accusations of plagiarism, Harvard University's top governing authority is maintaining its support for her.

The Harvard Corporation, consisting of 12 members, operates as one of Harvard University's governing bodies, working in conjunction with the Board of Overseers.

It is considered the more influential of the two, tasked with managing the university's academic and fiscal assets. Following a meeting on Monday evening, the Corporation issued a statement on Tuesday morning affirming its continued support for Gay's leadership, the Daily Wire reports.

“As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University,” the Harvard Corporation said in a statement signed by all 11 of Gay’s fellow board members. “Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing.”

Gay faced criticism for her responses to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) during her recent testimony before the House. When Stefanik inquired whether “calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard’s code of conduct,” Gay replied, "It depends on the context."

“It does not depend on the context,” Stefanik replied, “The answer is yes. And this is why you should resign.”

On Sunday, journalist Chris Rufo released a report detailing what he claims are three examples of plagiarism by Gay, according to Harvard's guidelines, in her dissertation titled "Taking Charge: Black Electoral Success and the Redefinition of American Policies." Despite these allegations, Gay has stood by her integrity and issued an apology for her conduct during the congressional testimony. Currently, she has the backing of Harvard's board in these matters.

The Harvard Corporation's statement noted that an independent examination of three of Gay's articles was performed "at her request," and the review found "several instances of insufficient citation."

Accusations against Gay include purportedly copying almost word-for-word from a work by Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam titled "Race, Sociopolitical Participation, and Black Empowerment."

Following these allegations surfacing on Sunday, The National Association of Scholars demanded Gay's resignation. However, the university's board maintains that these "inadequate citations" did not breach Harvard's academic standards.

“In this tumultuous and difficult time, we unanimously stand in support of President Gay. At Harvard, we champion open discourse and academic freedom, and we are united in our strong belief that calls for violence against our students and disruptions of the classroom experience will not be tolerated,” the Harvard Corporation’s statement added.

“Harvard’s mission is advancing knowledge, research, and discovery that will help address deep societal issues and promote constructive discourse, and we are confident that President Gay will lead Harvard forward toward accomplishing this vital work.”

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