Plagiarism Allegations Lodged Against Claudine Gay

( – Harvard President Claudine Gay, Ph.D., recently stirred up controversy for failing to address rising antisemitism on the university’s campus in the wake of the October attack on Israel by Hamas. In early December, she sparked continued outrage after telling members of the House Education Committee that “context” mattered when considering whether calls for the genocide of Jews constituted a violation of Harvard’s code of conduct. Most recently, Gay has faced mounting plagiarism allegations.

Conservative activist and New College of Florida board member Christopher Rufo launched the first allegations in a December 10 thread posted on his X/Twitter account. Rufo claimed that he and Chris Brunet, a contributing editor at The American Conservative, obtained documentation proving she had plagiarized several portions of her dissertation.

Rufo listed several examples of Gay lifting entire passages of previously published works by others. According to Rufo, she reproduced those sections “nearly verbatim” without providing quotation marks or attribution.

The Harvard Corporation, the university’s prestigious but secretive governing body, issued a brief statement on December 12 supporting Gay’s continued leadership of the school. The board readily conceded that Gay should have taken a harder position against antisemitism and calls for genocide but noted that Gay had already apologized for her congressional testimony.

Turning its attention to the allegations of plagiarism, the Harvard Corporation said an independent review found “a few instances of inadequate citation, [but] found no violation of Harvard’s [research] standards.” The statement also noted that Gay had “proactively” requested the insertion of quotation marks and citations that she “omitted from the original publications.”

However, the board’s swift, two-day dismissal of plagiarism allegations hasn’t ended the controversy surrounding Gay. On December 19, The Washington Free Beacon published an article detailing a complaint filed with Harvard University officials outlining 40 allegations of plagiarism against Gay. The 37-page document provides a verbatim analysis of the original printed works compared to Gay’s reported attempts to paraphrase them and pass them off as her own words.

It remains unclear what, if anything, Harvard plans to do about the latest plagiarism allegations. In the meantime, X/Twitter exploded over the Christmas weekend, with hundreds of users like George Conway questioning the university’s decision to dismiss the matter using a “get-out-of-jail-free” card.

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