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Harvard’s Chief Diversity And Inclusion Officer Accused Of 40 Instances Of Plagiarism

An anonymous 37-page complaint filed accused Sherri Charleston of plagiarizing in her dissertation and a co-authored journal article.

An anonymous 37-page complaint filed this week accused Harvard’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sherri Charleston of multiple instances of plagiarism.

The extensive complaint alleges that Charleston committed plagiarism 40 times, including in her 2009 University of Michigan doctoral dissertation and a 2014 co-authored journal article, according to The Root.

It claimed Charleston lifted “whole sentences and paragraphs from other scholars’ work without quotation marks” in her dissertation.

According to the outlet, the complaint mentioned a 2014 paper Charleston co-authored “appears to be entirely counterfeit,” constituting “research fraud, pure and simple,” according to Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars. According to The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative media website, Wood used to conduct academic integrity probes as a former associate provost at Boston University.

Furthermore, Charleston allegedly presented her husband’s 2012 research findings as new. The Washington Free Beacon reported per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity that this amounts to “duplicate publication” and could violate copyright law.

Wood also commented on Charleston’s alleged use of her husband’s research in the journal article, according to The Washington Free Beacon, “Because the second paper, on which Sherri Ann Charleston is one of the three co-authors, recycles so much of the text of the original paper by LaVar J. Charleston, this does have the earmarks of plagiarism, but the plagiarism is compounded by an even larger effort to deceive.”

Charleston was appointed as Harvard’s first Chief Diversity Officer in 2020 after holding a similar role at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Root noted. She had been on the committee that selected former Harvard President Claudine Gay, who recently resigned over separate plagiarism allegations.

BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that a subcommittee found Gay’s “conduct was not reckless nor intentional and, therefore, did not constitute research misconduct” when presented to Harvard Corporation on Dec. 9.

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