House Investigating If Harvard Looked ‘The Other Way’ When School Became Aware Of President’s Plagiarism Allegations

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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The House Committee on Education and the Workforce announced Wednesday it is expanding its investigation into Harvard to determine how the school responded to plagiarism allegations brought forward against President Claudine Gay.

Several sources alleged Gay plagiarized some of her academic papers following a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on Dec. 5, and the Harvard Corporation, one of the university’s governing boards, admitted on Dec. 12 they had known of some accusations against Gay since late October. Another round of accusations came Tuesday, and now the committee is broadening its investigation to include the allegations and how the school handled them, according to a letter from the committee. (RELATED: Boston Globe Calls On Harvard To Say If President Plagiarized Or Not)

“The House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Committee) has begun a review of Harvard University’s (Harvard) handling of credible allegations of plagiarism by President Claudine Gay over a period of 24 years. An allegation of plagiarism by a top school official at any university would be reason for concern, but Harvard is not just any university. It styles itself as one of the top educational institutions in the country,” the letter reads.

“As you know, federal funding to Harvard is conditioned upon the school’s adherence to the standards of a recognized accreditor. Harvard’s accrediting body, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), maintains Standards for Accreditation (Standards) that emphasize the paramount importance of academic and institutional integrity,” the letter reads.

Gay is accused of plagiarizing seven of her papers, following this newest round of accusations. The newest complaint lists 39 examples of plagiarism and more than 40 specific instances of her alleged plagiarism.

“Our concern is that standards are not being applied consistently, resulting in different rules for different members of the academic community. If a university is willing to look the other way and not hold faculty accountable for engaging in academically dishonest behavior, it cheapens its mission and the value of its education. Students must be evaluated fairly, under known standards – and have a right to see that faculty are, too,” the letter continues.

During Gay’s academic career, she appears to have copied entire paragraphs and cited over 20 authors without proper citation. Harvard’s student newspaper reviewed Gay’s scholarly works and found that some of her academic papers might have violated the university’s plagiarism policies. Gay issued corrections to two articles Friday, involving “quotation marks and citations” to academic works she was accused of plagiarizing in.

Harvard’s Honor Council heard 138 cases of “academic integrity cases” during the 2020-2021 academic year and nearly 100 of them resulted in an “academic dishonesty violation.” There were nearly 50 violations of Harvard’s plagiarism policies reported during the 2020-2021 academic year. Over 27 students were forced to withdraw from the university due to “academic dishonesty violations,” which included plagiarism.

Harvard and Gay did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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