Adam Glanzman for The New York Times

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Following weeks of compounding controversies, Claudine Gay resigned from her position as president of Harvard University.

Gay came under national scrutiny following her congressional testimony in December regarding anti-semitism on college campuses, during which she argued that calls for intifada (which some equate with a call for genocide) were not worthy of disciplinary action unless "that speech crosses into conduct that violates our policies against bullying, harassment, and intimidation."

Gay apologized soon afterward, attributing her indirect answer to the "extended, combative" nature of the hearing. Gay clarified her position, stating, "Let me be clear: Calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group are vile, they have no place at Harvard, and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held to account."

Soon after the testimony, the first round of plagiarism accusations against Gay emerged.

Carol M. Swain, who Gay was accused of plagiarizing, wrote in the Wall Street Journal Opinion (Lean Right bias) that Gay's scholarly work contains no "ground-breaking originality" and that Gay was able to "parlay mediocre research into tenure and administrative advancement at what was once considered a world-class university."

The university defended Gay's work, attributing the accusations to improper citations, and Gay submitted corrections to the published papers.

But as the weeks went on, accusations piled up, eventually leading Gay to announce her resignation this week.

Media voices responding to the news roughly fall into two camps. One side broadly argues that Gay fell victim to a right-wing attack on progressive-minded higher education, led by forces motivated by politics, not a genuine concern for academic integrity or Jewish students. The other side argues that Gay's actions alone led to her downfall, and the motivations of the critics are irrelevant if the accusations are true. The clashing interpretations came to a head when the Associated Press (Lean Left bias) faced criticism for an article that deemed plagiarism accusations to be a “new conservative weapon."

In an op-ed in the New York Times Opinion (Left bias) published following her resignation, Gay defended her scholarly work and time as president while admitting to "mistakes" made following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and during her congressional testimony. Gay argued that her accusers "trafficked in lies and ad hominem insults, not reasoned argument. They recycled tired racial stereotypes about Black talent and temperament. They pushed a false narrative of indifference and incompetence."

Similarly, a writer in the Daily Beast (Left bias) attributed Gay's resignation to the work of "right-wing chaos agents" advancing their mission of "bringing about the abolition of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs; suppressing progressive campus free speech through government sanctions and intimidation; and destroying higher education writ large."

A writer in the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) pushed back on claims that Gay was unfairly targeted, stating, "The Left’s race hucksters treat Gay’s being held to account for dishonesty and plagiarism as a victory for right-wing extremists ... You might think it dumb to associate your foes with concern for truth and the maintenance of good standards. Doesn’t that imply that you yourself stand on the side of lies and fraud?"

A writer in the National Review (Right bias) determined that Gay's "loss of her high perch" serves as a warning for the digital era, where decades-old mistakes can be unearthed at any moment. "We are entering an era in which your personal history will follow you forever, even if what you did happened before you could even imagine any technology capturing it."

An article in the Wall Street Journal (Center bias) analyzed Harvard's next steps, determining that "The governing board and interim leaders will first need to address concern from some faculty and alums that the school has drifted too far to the left, with a growing emphasis on ethnic studies and diversity, while also fielding complaints from others that it hasn’t gone far enough in addressing racial inequities on campus and in society at large."

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More from the Left

What Claudine Gay’s Resignation From Harvard Means for the Rest of Us
Mother Jones (Opinion)

"Her resignation not only shakes things up at the most prestigious university in the country, it also exposes a larger trend of racial regression that picked up in the years following the 2020 uprisings as Black leaders have been installed in positions of power only to find themselves undermined by the systems they sought to save."

More from the Right

Claudine Gay plays the victim as she avoids accountability for her fraud
New York Post (opinion)

"Gay advocating for a commitment to excellence amid being exposed for committing dozens of instances of plagiarism is like Freddy Krueger advocating for children to sleep well at night ... Gay avoids accountability in her resignation by never actually addressing her shortcomings directly, whether her failure to commit to ridding Harvard of threats against Jewish students or her inability to cite a source."

More from the Center

Claudine Gay resigns: a timeline of Harvard’s shortest presidential tenure
The Hill

"Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned Tuesday amid multiple controversies, setting a record for the shortest-lived presidency at the storied university. She was appointed back in July and saw only a brief period of peace before October brought multiple controversies that eventually cost her the job, including accusations of plagiarism and the fallout from a disastrous House hearing on campus antisemitism."

See more big stories from the past week.