Highest-Ranking Harvard Official Steps Down Amid Scandal

After weeks of fierce criticism over congressional hearing blunders and plagiarism charges, Claudine Gay resigned Tuesday. After six months as Harvard president, Claudine Gay is leaving.

After weeks of controversy over plagiarism allegations and a December House hearing on antisemitism in which she and two other college presidents equivocated on campus threats to Jewish students, Gay announced her resignation on Tuesday.

Gay became Harvard's first Black female president in late 2022, making waves. Her resignation makes her the university's shortest-serving president in 388 years.

On Tuesday afternoon, Gay announced her sudden resignation by releasing a statement. I write to announce my resignation as president with a sorrowful heart but a strong affection for Harvard. 

This was a difficult choice. Gay remarked, "It has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries."

She said her retirement was “in the best interests of Harvard” to help the university “navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”

Gay received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1998, joined the faculty in 2008, and became dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2018 before becoming president.

Gay was accused of plagiarizing her Ph.D. thesis and other publications. Though he corrected citations, the president minimized the accusations, which kept coming, including new ones on Monday.

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