The Harvard Crimson reported that Claudine Gay, the embattled Harvard president, will resign her post on Tuesday afternoon. This is due to the overwhelming backlash she has received for her response to the antisemitism and plagiarism scandals at Harvard.
Gay resigned after only six months and two days of her presidency, the shortest tenure in university history.
In an email sent later today, the Corporation — Harvard’s highest-ranking governing body — will announce the resignation of Harvard affiliates. Gay will also make a public statement regarding the decision.
After the hearing in Congress, the Corporation announced its support for Gays following “extensive discussions”.
Gay was first criticized for her congressional testimony on December 5, in which she answered a question regarding antisemitism at the university with a terrible response. She refused to say whether calls for genocide against the Jewish people were against the code of conduct of the university. Later, she retracted her statement but the damage had been done. Gay maintained her Harvard board’s trust despite the antisemitism she displayed and the subsequent accusations of plagiarism.
In a press release, the Harvard board stated that “in this turbulent and difficult time we stand united in support of President Gay.” “Our extensive discussions confirm our confidence that President Gay will be the right leader for our community to heal and address the very serious social issues we face.”
Recent reports have reported new allegations of plagiarism.
Gay had not only the Harvard board’s support but also Barack Obama who “privately lobbied”, according to reports, for her job to be kept. I guess that his support was not enough to save Gay.
Gay, in a letter addressed to the Harvard community, wrote: “It’s with a heavy soul but a deep affection for Harvard that I write to tell you that I am stepping down from my position as president.” This is not a choice I made lightly. It has been a difficult decision because I had hoped to work with many of you to continue the tradition of academic excellence that has driven this university for centuries. After consulting with members of the Corporation it became clear that my resignation was in the best interest of Harvard. This will allow our community to navigate this extraordinary moment with a focus that is on the institution and not any one individual.”
It is an honor to be part of this university. This has been my home, and my inspiration, for the majority of my career. “My deep connection to Harvard, and its people, has made it even more painful to see the tensions and divides that have torn our community apart in recent months. They are weakening our bonds of reciprocity and trust that should provide us with strength and support during times of crisis,” she added.
She claimed to be the victim of racism, rather than accept responsibility for her actions.
She wrote: “It has been distressing for me to have my commitment to combating hate and upholding scholarly rigor – two bedrock values fundamental to who am I – questioned, and frightening to be the target of personal attacks and threats fuelled by racial hatred.” I believe in Harvard’s people because I see the potential and promise of a brighter future in each of you. These last weeks helped to make clear what work we need to do to build this future — to combat bias and hatred in all their forms, to create an environment where we respect each others’ dignity and treat each other with compassion, to affirm our commitment to open inquiry and free expression in pursuit of truth.
Good riddance, Claudine Gay. Maybe Harvard can find a solution to this controversy, and restore their reputation.