Harvard Details Handling Of Claudine Gay Plagiarism Controversy In New Congressional Report

Harvard University detailed its handling of the controversy surrounding former President Claudine Gay’s alleged plagiarism in a new report submitted to Congress on Friday.

Harvard’s report, which was submitted to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, details how a university subcommittee appointed an independent panel of “three of the country’s most prominent political scientists” that found “virtually no evidence of intentional claiming of findings that are not President Gay’s.” The independent panel did not review all accusations of plagiarism against Gay, only the 25 allegations flagged by the New York Post, 16 of which the panel said were “trivial,” used “commonly used language” or regarded a previous publication that “they devoted ‘less attention.’”

The panel had to consider whether Gay engaged in “intentional, knowing, or reckless conduct,” in accordance with Harvard’s policies, according to the report. Gay, herself, was the one to approve adding those conditions to Harvard’s research policy in 2019.

The panel found in nine allegations where Gay “paraphrased or reproduced the language of others without quotation marks and without sufficient and clear crediting of sources” or failed to “provide citations according to the highest established scientific practice.” 

Harvard’s research misconduct policy defines plagiarism as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.”

The panel, based on its findings, recommended on Nov. 20 that the subcommittee, which consists of members of The Harvard Corporation, conduct a “broader review” of Gay’s work. The committee then determined that two of her works required corrections as they did not adhere to academic guidelines.

One of the works flagged for correction by the subcommittee “was not reckless nor intentional and, therefore, did not constitute research misconduct,” according to the report.

Gay submitted corrections to the two articles on Dec. 14 after the subcommittee shared its findings with her.

The university on Dec. 10, reviewed additional plagiarism allegations regarding Gay’s dissertation that were not included in the subcommittee’s initial review, finding more “examples of duplicative language without appropriate attribution.”

Harvard’s report claims to detail “the rigor of our process and the principles of fairness and diligence that guided our actions and decisions.”

Gay resigned as Harvard’s president on Jan. 2, saying it was in the “best interest” of the university. She made no mention of plagiarism in her resignation letter nor did she apologize, instead claiming that she had been “subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus.”

Harvard did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Robert Schmad on January 20, 2024

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