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Harvard’s President Didn’t Resign After Plagiarism Scandal, But Students Have Been Kicked Out Over Violations

Harvard President Claudine Gay. harvard.edu
Harvard President Claudine Gay. harvard.edu

By: Brandon Poulter, Daily Caller News Foundation

Harvard President Claudine Gay will remain in her role at the university following accusations that she plagiarized multiple papers, despite the school having disciplined students for similar offenses.

The Harvard Corporation, which is one of Harvard’s governing bodies, announced Tuesday that they would remain supportive of Gay after a contentious Congressional hearing and accusations of plagiarism, although the Corporation admitted that a review of her work found “a few instances of inadequate citation.” Harvard University has disciplined students for similar violations of its honor code, which prohibits turning in work that is “not their own,” The Harvard Crimson reported.

The Honor Council heard 138 cases of “academic integrity cases” during the 2020-2021 school year and 99 of those resulted in an “academic dishonesty violation,” in which 27 students were forced to withdraw from the school, according to the Crimson. There were 47 reported violations regarding plagiarism during the academic year.

“Students who, for whatever reason, submit work either not their own or without clear attribution to its sources will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including requirement to withdraw from the College,” Harvard’s plagiarism policy reads.

An approximate average of 18 students per year were forced to withdraw from Harvard between the 2015-2016 academic year and the 2020-21 academic year, according to the Crimson.

Gay is accused of plagiarizing multiple academic papers, including her Ph.D. thesis, according to conservative activist Chris Rufo. Gay copied entire paragraphs and quoted nearly 20 authors without proper citations throughout her academic career, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Along with Gay, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth faced calls for removal after refusing to say whether calls for genocide against Jews violated the schools’ codes of conduct. Gay and Magill both backtracked their comments, and the latter resigned on Dec. 9.

Harvard and Gay did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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