Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Year : 1, Issue : 18
The president of Harvard University resigned Tuesday after coming under ferocious attack over plagiarism accusations and her response to anti-Semitism on campus amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Claudine Gay was criticised in recent months after reports surfaced alleging that she did not properly cite scholarly sources. The most recent accusations came Tuesday, published anonymously in a conservative online outlet.
Gay was also engulfed by scandal after she declined to say unequivocally whether calling for the genocide of Jews would violate Harvard’s code of conduct, during testimony to Congress alongside the heads of MIT and the University of Pennsylvania last month.
Gay, who made history as the first Black person to be president of the powerhouse university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in her resignation letter that she’d been subjected to personal threats and ‘racial animus.’
Her downfall comes after the university’s governing Harvard Corporation had initially backed her after the public relations disaster of the congressional testimony.
But the body did criticise the university’s initial response to the Hamas October 7 attacks that Israel said killed 1,140 people inside Israel and saw around 240 people taken hostage.
Israel’s offensive has reduced much of Gaza to rubble and killed at least 22,185 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
More than 70 lawmakers, including two Democrats, demanded her resignation, while a number of high-profile Harvard alumni and donors also called for her departure.
Still, more than 700 Harvard faculty members had signed a letter supporting Gay and her job had appeared to be safe.
The resignation, first reported by the student-run newspaper the Harvard Crimson, was confirmed shortly after by Gay herself.
Source: Agence France