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Harvard President Resigns Amid Controversy

Harvard President Resigns Amid Controversy

Inside Higher Ed

Josh Moody
January 2, 2024
Claudine Gay is out as president of Harvard University after roughly six months on the job.
Gay announced plans to resign on Tuesday following a firestorm of controversy in recent weeks related to numerous allegations of plagiarism and a widely criticized appearance at a House hearing on antisemitism in December, at which she and two other college presidents equivocated on questions about threats to Jewish students on campus.
The news of Gay’s resignation was first reported by The Harvard Crimson.
Gay made headlines in late 2022 when she was named the first Black woman to lead Harvard. Now her departure makes her the shortest-serving president in the university’s 388-year history.
A Sudden Resignation
Gay released a statement on Tuesday afternoon detailing her plans to step down.
“It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I came to easily. Indeed, 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,” Gay wrote.
She added that her resignation was “in the best interests of Harvard” to allow the campus to “navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”
Gay earned her Ph.D. at Harvard in 1998, joined the faculty in 2008 and became dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2018 before she was tapped to be president.
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