(WatchDogReport.org) – Harvard President Claudine Gay was hit with six new plagiarism charges on January 1, in a shocking development among the academic scandals that have affected what many consider the most prestigious university in the country. The charges included a claim that Gay allegedly lifted almost half a page of “material verbatim” from the University of Wisconsin’s political science professor David Canon in a 2001 article.
The total number of plagiarism allegations against her is almost 50, which different media outlets described as half of the works she has published in her entire career. The complaint against the university gave numerous examples of Gay’s plagiarism. One of these shows how she borrowed four sentences from a book Canon published in 1999 without using quotation marks and with minor “semantic tweaks.”
During an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Canon said he wasn’t “concerned” about the scandal surrounding Gay and the way she allegedly plagiarized his work. He said not even “the passages” concern him as he believes these cannot be considered a case of “academic plagiarism.”
Following the new plagiarism charges, Gay announced on January 2 that she was stepping down from Harvard’s presidency. In a statement, she said she took the decision after consulting with members of the university, and after noticing it was the best step so the academic community could “navigate this moment” of challenge. While she didn’t detail when she will officially step down, she described her decision as extremely difficult.
Over the last few weeks, some Harvard officials and even some Congress leaders have been calling for her resignation not only because of the plagiarism scandals but also because she refused to address the rise of antisemitism in the university. Gay, who only lasted six months in the position, was the first black president in the history of Harvard and the second woman in the university’s history.
Following her resignation letter, the Harvard Corporation said in a statement that chief academic officer Alan Garber will be the university’s interim president.
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