Claudine Gay Seems To Rewrite History On Harvard’s Handling Of Plagiarism Accusations In NYT Op-Ed

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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Harvard President Claudine Gay wrote an Op-Ed Wednesday that attempted to push back against plagiarism allegations by saying she “promptly” requested corrections to the pieces in question, a claim that is contradicted by a Harvard Corporation letter on the subject.

Gay resigned from the Harvard presidency Tuesday following a fourth round of plagiarism allegations, and then she penned an Op-Ed in The New York Times on Wednesday, avoiding blame and citing racism as one of the reasons for her resignation. The opinion piece said that she “promptly” requested corrections when she learned of the plagiarism allegations, but the Harvard Corporation said on Dec. 12 they knew of the allegations in late October and that Gay had requested an independent review of her work, which brings Gay’s timeframe into question.(RELATED: ‘Queering God’ And ‘How To Be A Bitch’: Here Are Just A Few Of The Craziest Courses Universities Offered In 2023)

“Most recently, the attacks have focused on my scholarship. My critics found instances in my academic writings where some material duplicated other scholars’ language without proper attribution. I believe all scholars deserve full and appropriate credit for their work. When I learned of these errors, I promptly requested corrections from the journals in which the flagged articles were published, consistent with how I have seen similar faculty cases handled at Harvard,” Gay wrote in the Times.

Gay submitted corrections to some of her articles on Dec. 15 involving “quotation marks and citations” and submitted another round on Dec. 21. The Corporation did not make any public statements about the plagiarism allegations and corrections until after several sources accused Gay of plagiarism in public reports.

“With regard to President Gay’s academic writings, the University became aware in late October of allegations regarding three articles. At President Gay’s request, the Fellows promptly initiated an independent review by distinguished political scientists and conducted a review of her published work. On December 9, the Fellows reviewed the results, which revealed a few instances of inadequate citation. While the analysis found no violation of Harvard’s standards for research misconduct, President Gay is proactively requesting four corrections in two articles to insert citations and quotation marks that were omitted from the original publications,” the Harvard Corporation statement reads.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 05: Dr. Claudine Gay, President of Harvard University, testifies before the House Education and Workforce Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building on December 05, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“I have never misrepresented my research findings, nor have I ever claimed credit for the research of others. Moreover, the citation errors should not obscure a fundamental truth: I proudly stand by my work and its impact on the field,” Gay wrote in the Times.

The opinion piece also failed to mention that the Harvard Corporation had used a high-powered defamation lawyer to attempt to silence reporters who might have published a story about the allegations in October, according to the New York Post. Thomas Clare, a Virginia-based attorney with Clare-Locke sent the Post a 15-page letter, which identified himself as a defamation lawyer for the university. The letter contained comments from scholars whose work Gay allegedly plagiarized, even though the investigation into Gay’s academic works allegedly had just begun, according to the Post.

The editor of the Times’ opinion page, Kathleen Kingsbury, issued a statement Thursday expressing disagreement with Gay’s opinion of the matter. Kingsbury recommended that readers look at several other opinion pieces discussing the issue. 

Gay came under fire after a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on Dec. 5, where she, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill, who late resigned, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth refused to say if calling for the genocide of Jews constituted violations of the schools’ codes of conduct. The committee opened an investigation into all three universities’ “learning environments, policies, and disciplinary procedures” following the hearing.

The committee expanded its investigation into Harvard on Dec. 20 to include the accusations of plagiarism against Gay. Republican North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx said Wednesday the investigation into the elite colleges will continue despite Gay and Magill resigning.

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

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