Harvard University President Claudine Gay is facing accusations of plagiarism in her 1997 doctoral dissertation on racial themes. Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Christopher F. Rufo, published a report claiming that Gay violated Harvard’s policies on academic integrity by plagiarizing in her dissertation titled “Taking Charge: Black Electoral Success and the Redefinition of American Policies.”
According to Rufo, there are three instances of plagiarism in Gay’s dissertation. The first one is an entire paragraph that Gay allegedly lifted from a paper by Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam without proper citation. The second instance is a passage that appears to be copied from legal scholar Carol Swain’s book without giving appropriate credit. The third and most significant accusation is that Gay copied an entire appendix from scholar Gary King’s book without proper acknowledgment.
Rufo notes that Harvard’s own guidelines state that when paraphrasing, students must completely restate the ideas in their own words, and if the language is too close to the original, it constitutes plagiarism. In all three instances, Gay is accused of failing to properly paraphrase and give credit to the sources.
First, Gay lifts an entire paragraph nearly verbatim from a paper by Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam’s, while passing it off as her own paraphrase and language.
This is a direct violation of Harvard’s policy: “When you paraphrase, your task is to distill the source’s ideas… pic.twitter.com/t6enHp3dN9
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) December 10, 2023
These allegations come at a time when Gay is already facing scrutiny for her recent testimony during a Congressional hearing on anti-Semitism in colleges and universities. When questioned about whether calling for the genocide of Jews violated Harvard’s codes of conduct, Gay responded that it “depends on the context.” She added that such speech is “at odds with the values of Harvard” and that it violates their policies when it crosses over into conduct.
BREAKING: Harvard president Claudine Gay responds to the plagiarism scandal by telling the Boston Globe that she “stand[s] by the integrity of [her] scholarship.” Note that she did not specifically deny the allegation of plagiarism, nor explain repeated violations of Harvard’s… pic.twitter.com/uneS6mkcXP
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) December 11, 2023
Harvard University has not made an official statement on the matter. However, these allegations could have serious implications for Gay’s reputation and credibility as the leader of a prestigious academic institution. Plagiarism is a serious offense, and if proven to be true, it could damage Gay’s career and raise questions about the rigor of Harvard’s academic standards.