NewsNational NewsScripps News


Harvard president resigns following controversies

Claudine Gay was the first Black person to lead the Ivy League school and only the second female.
Harvard president reportedly resigns following controversies
Posted at 12:47 PM, Jan 02, 2024

Claudine Gay has resigned as the president of Harvard University.

"It has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual," she said in a statement. 

Gay was the first Black individual to lead the Ivy League school and only the second female. 

She first came under fire after testifying before Congress about the rise in antisemitism on college campuses. 

Gay was asked whether calling for the genocide of Jews on campus would be considered harassment. She responded, "depending on the context."

SEE MORE: Ex-Harvard professor allegedly used own sperm to impregnate patient

After facing backlash, Gay attempted to clarify her remarks, stating that she was trying to balance the right to free speech and Harvard's policy in her answer. Days later, in an interview with The Crimson, Gay said she was sorry for her comments, noting that "words matter."

It appeared Gay would survive the controversy after receiving support from the Harvard Corporation, the university's governing board. 

However, she has since been hit with a slew of plagiarism accusations. The university said it found "duplicative language" in Gay's doctoral dissertation but it did not rise to the level of research misconduct. She was forced to issue several corrections. 

In a statement, the Harvard Corporation said it was saddened that Gay would no longer lead the university. 

"While President Gay has acknowledged missteps and has taken responsibility for them, it is also true that she has shown remarkable resilience in the face of deeply personal and sustained attacks," the Corporation stated. 

Gay, who will still be a faculty member, was inaugurated as Harvard's 30th president in October. Her tenure is reportedly the shortest of any Harvard president.

The Corporation announced that Alan M. Garber, provost and chief academic officer at Harvard, will serve as the interim president until a new leader is selected.

Trending stories at