Harvard president Claudine Gay, currently facing challenges, is now confronted with 40 new accusations of plagiarism, with claims that she copied complete paragraphs in her academic writing. This came as a congressional committee announced that it would investigate Gay's actions.
The Ivy League school announced on Wednesday that a recent review revealed more instances of "duplicative language without appropriate attribution" in Gay's doctoral dissertation from 1997. The latest accusations were initially revealed in a startling report by the Washington Free Beacon. They encompass seven publications written by Gay, with issues ranging from the absence of quotation marks around certain phrases or sentences to entire paragraphs being directly lifted by Gay.
More Accusations of Plagiarism
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has expanded the scope of its investigation into Gay's work, as revealed in a letter by Rep. Virginia Foxx. The committee had initially launched a probe into antisemitism at Harvard following critical feedback on Gay's testimony.
However, an in-depth investigation has now opened a can of worms. "President Gay will update her dissertation correcting these instances of inadequate citation," the summary stated, with the Harvard Crimson saying it involved three additional corrections beyond those already made to her work.
Gay initially submitted two corrections to papers from 2001 and 2017, which involved the addition of "quotation marks and citations," as confirmed by a Harvard spokesman.
The review further confirmed that Harvard was aware as of October 24 that The Washington Post was investigating allegations of plagiarism against Gay.
Despite efforts, an independent three-person panel was unable to identify the plagiarized material as its focus was on "all of President Gay's other published works" and not specifically on her dissertation, as reported by the student paper.
The university review reportedly stated that the subcommittee only initiated a review of the dissertation "in response to new allegations."
Caught During Investigation
The scrutiny of Gay's work intensified amid growing calls for Gay to be fired over her controversial Congressional testimony addressing the failure to address the escalating antisemitism on campus.
Before the recent revelations, the Harvard Corporation, the highest governing body of the school, had already acknowledged an independent review that identified three instances of "inadequate citation," but found no evidence of misconduct.
Earlier this month, the university reaffirmed its support for Gay after conducting an investigation into the plagiarism allegations. Although the Harvard board found no violation of the school's policies in Gay's work, The Harvard Crimson, upon reviewing the examples of alleged plagiarism, reached a different conclusion.
The school's paper stated that some of Gay's writings "appear to violate Harvard's current policies around plagiarism and academic integrity."
The House of Representatives' Committee on Education and the Workforce, currently conducting an investigation into Harvard, announced an inquiry on Wednesday into the school's handling of the plagiarism allegations.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) penned a letter to the Harvard Corporation, requesting the school to provide "[a]ll documents and communications concerning the initial allegations of plagiarism" and details of their investigation, as reported by the Globe.
When the allegations first surfaced, Gay defended her academic work. "I stand by the integrity of my scholarship," she told the Boston Globe earlier this month. "Throughout my career, I have worked to ensure my scholarship adheres to the highest academic standards."