A plagiarism scandal has rocked the prestigious Harvard University, with accusations that its first-ever black president, Claudine Gay, has plagiarized the work of legal scholar and author Carol Swain. In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Swain blasted Harvard for holding minorities to a lower standard and for protecting its own despite their alleged misconduct.
According to researchers Christopher Rufo and Christopher Brunet, Gay’s dissertation contains at least three instances of plagiarism, including passages lifted from Swain’s 1993 book and 1997 article. Gay is also accused of using the work of Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam without proper attribution. This has sparked outrage from Swain, who claims that Gay’s scholarship builds on her own work.
Swain argues that the failure to cite her work and that of others harms their academic standing and diminishes their contributions. She also voices frustration that the backlash to Gay’s alleged plagiarism has not been more severe, suggesting that the elites Gay is accused of plagiarizing are not as incensed because they benefit from a system that protects its own. Swain also accuses Harvard of condoning Gay’s actions, despite an independent review revealing “instances of inadequate citation” and no violation of the university’s standards.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Swain calls Gay’s alleged plagiarism and recent troubling comments on anti-Semitism a “low point for American higher education.” She further criticizes Harvard’s attempt to redefine plagiarism in order to retain its first-ever black president, who she believes was promoted based on diversity, equity, and inclusion standards rather than academic merit.
This scandal raises questions about the integrity of not just Harvard but the entire higher education system. Swain’s accusations highlight a larger issue of minorities being held to a lower standard and potentially benefiting from diversity initiatives at the expense of their academic integrity. This controversy also reflects the increasing pressure on universities to prioritize diversity and inclusion over academic excellence.
Dr. Carol Swain, who was plagiarized by Claudine Gay, is now calling for the Harvard president to resign. https://t.co/N7aqRc3Fq0
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) December 15, 2023
Harvard has stood by Gay, arguing that her failure to cite other scholars’ work does not violate their standards. However, the university’s refusal to address the issue more seriously calls into question its commitment to upholding academic integrity. As one of the most prestigious and influential universities in the world, Harvard’s handling of this scandal will have far-reaching implications for the future of higher education.