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Harvard Releases Details Of Former President Claudine Gay’s Plagiarism Investigation

Harvard is revealing how the university investigated plagiarism claims brought against the school’s former president Claudine Gay. 

Harvard is revealing how the university investigated plagiarism claims brought against the school’s former president Claudine Gay. 

Gay resigned earlier this month after facing pressure from a Congressional committee about responses to antisemitism on their campuses and allegations accusing her of plagiarism. A memo released on Friday reveals the numerous corrections that were made to Gay’s work after a New York Post reporter accused the former president of plagiarism in October, AP News reports.

The school reached out to the authors Gay was accused of plagiarizing and none objected to the claims. Harvard then appointed an independent body that reviewed two of Gay’s articles published in 2012 and 2017 and determined they “are both sophisticated and original,” and found “virtually no evidence of intentional claiming of findings” that were not her own.

However, it was found that nine of 25 plagiarism claims found by the Post reporter were “of principal concern” and featured “paraphrased or reproduced the language of others without quotation marks and without sufficient and clear crediting of sources.” Gay was also accused of including “fragments of duplicative language and paraphrasing” in her past works which could be seen as her taking credit for another academic’s work despite there being no proof of that being her aim.

A paper Gay wrote in graduate school was also found to include “identical language to that previously published by others.” The findings led to Gay making corrections to articles published in 2001 and 2012.

The subcommittee presented its findings to the Harvard Corporation on December 9, concluding that Gay’s “conduct was not reckless nor intentional and, therefore, did not constitute research misconduct.” However, less than one month later, Gay submitted her resignation as the school’s first Black president.

She held the position for just six months and two days, making her the shortest-tenured president in the school’s history, the school revealed. Amid her resignation, Gay revealed the emailed death threats she faced and numerous callings of the N-word ahead of her resignation.

“My character and intelligence have been impugned. My commitment to fighting antisemitism has been questioned. My inbox has been flooded with invective, including death threats. I’ve been called the N-word more times than I care to count,” Gay wrote in the 870-word New York Times op-ed titled “What Just Happened at Harvard Is Bigger Than Me”.

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