Headline RoundupDecember 18th, 2023

Did Harvard President Claudine Gay Commit Plagiarism in Her Research?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

In addition to facing backlash over her congressional testimony earlier this month regarding anti-semitism on college campuses, Harvard President Claudine Gay has now been accused of committing plagiarism in her Ph.D. thesis. 

For Context: Following the plagiarism accusations, Gay submitted corrections to two scholarly articles published in 2001 and 2017.

The Accuser’s Words: In the Wall Street Journal Opinion (Lean Right bias), Carol M. Swain, the author of the works Gay is accused of plagiarizing, wrote that Gay’s work “builds on terrain where I plowed the ground.” Swain argues that Gay’s work contains no “ground-breaking originality” and that Gay used Harvard’s desire for diversity to “parlay mediocre research into tenure and administrative advancement at what was once considered a world-class university.”

Harvard’s “Woke Future”: The New York Post Editorial Board (Right bias) outlined their investigation into Gay’s alleged plagiarism, describing Harvard’s use of “high-powered attorneys to try to quash” the paper’s reporting, concluding that Harvard “tapped Gay to lead the school into the woke future, and it won’t let credible accusations of plagiarism, or soaring campus antisemitism on her watch, get in the way.”

Academic Ambiguity: The Boston Globe (Left bias) Editorial Board pushed back on Harvard’s defense of Gay regarding the accusations, asking, “If Gay didn’t violate any standards of research, why would she need to correct anything?” The Board determined Gay should not be fired but raised concerns that “the university is muddying what should be a clear-cut line and creating ambiguity about academic standards.”

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