GOP-led congressional committee probing claims of plagiarism by Claudine Gay - Hindustan Times
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Republican-led congressional committee investigating claims of plagiarism by Harvard president Claudine Gay

BySumanti Sen
Dec 21, 2023 09:21 AM IST

A complaint received by Harvard on Tuesday, December 19, outlined more than 40 allegations of plagiarism against Claudine Gay

A Republican-led congressional committee is now investigating claims that Harvard University president Claudine Gay plagiarised various content. A complaint received by Harvard on Tuesday, December 19, outlined more than 40 allegations of plagiarism against Gay. The new allegations were submitted to Harvard's research integrity officer, Stacey Springs. These included examples reported by the Washington Free Beacon and other outlets.

Claudine Gay listens during Harvard University’s 372nd Commencement Exercises in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 25, 2023 (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo)(REUTERS)
Claudine Gay listens during Harvard University’s 372nd Commencement Exercises in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 25, 2023 (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo)(REUTERS)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), known for chairing the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, informed Harvard that a review of the school’s handling of “credible allegations of plagiarism” against Gay has been started. “If a university is willing to look the other way and not hold faculty accountable for engaging in academically dishonest behavior, it cheapens its mission and the value of its education,” Foxx wrote in a letter

copy of the complaint reviewed by the Free Beacon revealed that Gay quoted or paraphrased authors without proper attribution, including missing quotation marks around phrases or sentences. Even entire paragraphs were lifted without any changes made. The list of examples include as many as seven of Gay’s publications, which is nearly half of her scholarly output.

Earlier this month, the Harvard Corporation said it initiated an independent review Gay's work in October. However, it apparently found "no violation of Harvard's standards for research misconduct.” Notably, the investigation focused only on three papers.

Foxx’s letter, meanwhile, has requested Harvard to hand over all documents and communications regarding the plagiarism issue. Among several allegations that have surfaced, CNN reported that various instances of plagiarism by Gay that were found dates back to her time as a Harvard graduate student in the 1990s. Chunks of material were lifted for Gay’s award-winning 1997 doctoral thesis. In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted. 

Gay came under fire after her remarks at a recent Capitol Hill hearing. Presidents of various universities were asked whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” is against the universities’ respective codes of conduct. Gay simply responded to the question, saying, “When speech crosses into conduct, we take action.” She was heavily criticised for her “silence” on the issue despite getting a massive platform to voice her opinions.

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