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Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigns

Claudine Gay, pictured during commencement ceremonies in May stepped down as Harvard University's president amid plagiarism accusations and criticism over her congressional testimony about antisemitism.
Steven Senne
/
AP
Claudine Gay, pictured during commencement ceremonies in May stepped down as Harvard University's president amid plagiarism accusations and criticism over her congressional testimony about antisemitism.

Updated January 2, 2024 at 3:11 PM ET

Harvard University President Claudine Gay announced Tuesday afternoon that she will step aside, following new accusations of plagiarism. Her resignation comes just six months after she was appointed in the top job.

A letter from Gay, the university's first Black president, that was posted on Harvard's website read in part:

Gay's departure follows heightened scrutiny of allegations that she plagiarized parts of some of her published works and in the wake of a controversial appearance before Congress last month.

At that Dec. 5 hearing, Gay, along with the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, struggled to provide clear answers when asked about their policies in cases where students advocate genocide against Jews. Penn's president, Liz Magill, resigned after that testimony, but Harvard's highest governing board initially rejected calls that Gay be removed.

In a statement Tuesday, Harvard's governing board named Alan M. Garber, the university's provost and chief academic officer, as interim president until a new leader is chosen.

"We thank President Gay for her deep and unwavering commitment to Harvard and to the pursuit of academic excellence," said the statement from the Harvard Corporation. "While President Gay has acknowledged missteps and has taken responsibility for them, it is also true that she has shown remarkable resilience in the face of deeply personal and sustained attacks."

On July 1, Gay became the 30th president of Harvard, and the second woman to hold the position.

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