Harvard’s 30th President Resigns

January 2, 2024

… it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.

Claudine Gay in her resignation letter stepping down from her position as Harvard’s president; though stepping down, she will remain part of Harvard’s faculty.

Important Context: In early December, the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT participated in a congressional hearing regarding the leading institutions’ responses to rising antisemitism on their campuses. They all similarly answered that calls for the genocide of Jews could only qualify as harassment or bullying depending on “the context,” leading to bipartisan calls for their resignation. Days after the Dec. 5 hearing, UPenn President Liz Magill resigned, and as of Tuesday, Jan. 2, Harvard President Claudine Gay also resigned.

Why It Matters: Gay – whose presidential tenure is the shortest in Harvard’s historyat six months and two days long – faced immense criticism following the university’s response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. In the aftermath of her congressional testimony, allegations of plagiarism and doubts about her personal academic integrity emerged (related to her dissertation sourcing). In her resignation letter, Gay said, “it has been distressing to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor — two bedrock values that are fundamental to who I am Harvard’s Provost Alan Garber will now serve as interim president until the university selects a new leader.

Big Picture: Harvard – the oldest university in the nation – currently faces a federal investigation pertaining to antisemitism allegations, and major donors have halted financial contributions in wake of criticism.

Read More:

Read Claudine Gay’s resignation letter.

Harvard President Claudine Gay Resigns, Shortest Tenure in University History (The Crimson)

Harvard president Claudine Gay resigns amid plagiarism claims, backlash from antisemitism testimony (The Associated Press)

A Timeline of Claudine Gay’s Tenure at Harvard

What do the allegations of plagiarism look like? Here’s several examples provided by The Washington Free Beacon (a conservative outlet – the AP writes more about allegations that political motives “fueled” the crusade to fire Gay): READ MORE

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas