In a shocking development, Harvard University President Claudine Gay abruptly resigned from her position on Tuesday after less than a year in office.
Gay became the Ivy League school’s first Black and woman president just this past July.
Accusations Spark an Early Exit
Gay’s sudden departure follows intense recent scrutiny over plagiarism claims regarding her past scholarly work and criticism of her responses to campus antisemitism concerns.
Though Harvard’s governing board initially backed Gay, her quick exit marks the shortest presidency tenure in the university’s 386-year history.
Weathering a Firestorm
Conservative activists fueled much of the pressure Gay faced, publicizing plagiarism allegations from her 1997 doctoral dissertation.
Though Harvard’s review found inadequate citation issues but no misconduct, the board later acknowledged two additional dissertation examples of unattributed usage.
Gay also drew heat from a Congressional hearing where she would not definitively state that calls for Jewish genocide on campus would violate school conduct policies.
Her answers added to existing tensions over Harvard’s handling of antisemitic statements by student groups regarding Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Stepping Down With “Great Sadness”
While Gay defended her “bedrock” commitments against hate and for academic rigor in her resignation letter, she indicated resigning best serves Harvard’s interests right now.
The school accepted her decision with “great sadness,” praising her dedication and returning her to the faculty.
Many supporters denounced the “racist mobs” forcing Gay out as an assault on diversity progress. Still, critics continue pushing investigations into Harvard’s approach to antisemitism and “woke ideology.”