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Harvard chancellor resigns amid anti-Semitic and plagiarism accusations

Harvard Chancellor Claudine Gay Resigns Amid Anti-Semitic, Plagiarism Accusations
The president of Harvard, Claudine Gay, announced her resignation as president of the university this Tuesday, January 2, through a letter in which she indicated that she had been a victim of racist attacks and threats after her participation in a hearing before the Committee of Education and Workforce of the House of Representatives in Congress, along with other leaders of large universities. Image: Capture of the video broadcast on X.

Harvard President Claudine Gay announced her resignation as president of the university this Tuesday, January 2, amid a series of criticisms for her handling of anti-Semitism on campus following Israel's conflict against the radical group Hamas that has affected to the population in Gaza, in addition to accusations of plagiarism in his academic work.

The now former rector of the Ivy League university, denounced in her resignation letter, having been a victim of racist attacks and threats.

?It is with great regret, but with deep love for Harvard, that I write to inform you that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I made easily. In fact, it has been beyond words because I looked forward to working with many of you to promote the commitment to academic excellence that has driven this great university throughout the centuries?, begins the letter addressed to members of the community. from Harvard.

Gay pointed out that, after consulting with members of the corporation, it was best for Harvard to resign, so that the university community could face this moment of challenge, focusing on the institution and not on any individual.

"It has been distressing to have my commitments to confront hate and uphold academic rigor (two core values that are fundamental to who I am) called into question, and terrifying to be subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animosity," she stressed.

The former rector stated that the last few weeks helped her make it clear that, to build a better future, it is necessary to "combat prejudice and hatred in all its forms, create a learning environment in which we respect the dignity of others." and treat each other with compassion, and affirm our enduring commitment to open inquiry and free expression in the pursuit of truth? 

For many, the apologies come late, after on December 5, 2023, when in a hearing before the Education and Workforce Committee of the House of Representatives in Congress, along with other leaders of large universities, they were questioned about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on their campuses, answered Rep. Elise Stefanik's question about if a student calling for a genocide of Jews would break the university's codes of conduct, Gay answered "it depends on the context."

A day later, Gay spoke out through Harvard's X account: "Let me be clear: calls for violence or genocide against the Jewish community, or any religious or ethnic group, are vile, they have no place at Harvard." and those who threaten our Jewish students will be held accountable? But the damage had already been done.

Gay said that, after resigning from his position, he returns to faculty, scholarship and teaching, from where, he said, "I am committed to continuing to work alongside you to build the community that we all deserve."

?As we welcome a new year and a new semester, I hope we can all look forward to brighter days. Although I am sad to send this message, my hopes for Harvard remain intact. "When my brief presidency is remembered, I hope it will be seen as a moment to reawaken to the importance of striving to find our common humanity and not allowing rancor and vituperation to undermine the vital process of education," he added.

"I trust that we will all find ways, in this time of intense challenge and controversy, to recommit to the excellence, openness and independence that are crucial to what our university stands for and to our ability to serve the world," he concluded. .

Gay's time at the helm of Harvard was just 6 months, the shortest in the 388 years of the prestigious Massachusetts-based university.

For its part, Harvard Corporation, the school's highest governing body, announced that Alan M. Garber, the school's provost and chief academic officer, will serve as interim president until a permanent successor is named.

Gay's resignation follows that of former Penn University President Liz Magill on December 9, who also participated in the congressional hearing.

This publication was supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the CaliFornia State Library.

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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