Who Is Neri Oxman? Billionaire Investor Bill Ackman's Celebrity Wife Accused of Plagiarism in Multiple Parts of Her MIT Dissertation

In response to the bombshell accusations against her, Oxman acknowledged making errors in omitting quotation marks but maintained that proper credit was given through references.

Following the resignation of former Harvard President Claudine Gay amid nearly fifty plagiarism reports, the spotlight has turned to the wife of a prominent advocate for Gay's removal. Business Insider launched an investigation into Neri Oxman, the wife of billionaire Bill Ackman, accusing her of plagiarizing portions of her doctoral dissertation.

Oxman denies the plagiarism allegation but admits to omitting quotation marks despite including proper citations. The article extensively examines Oxman's work, meticulously pointing out instances where she failed to use quotation marks around borrowed passages, despite providing accurate references. The aim is to prove that the American-Israeli designer violated MIT's academic-integrity standards, raising fresh questions about her own ethics.

Bombshell Claims

Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman X

The Business Insider report points out several alleged instances of plagiarism by Oxman, who attained tenure as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2017. In these instances, Oxman explicitly mentions the names of the authors as references.

In a comparative context, Gay, the former president of a prestigious global university, faced another six plagiarism accusations just last week, bringing the total number of allegations to nearly 50.

Bill Ackman
Bill Ackman X

Business Insider claimed that their analysis showed Oxman plagiarized multiple paragraphs in her 2010 doctoral dissertation, including at least one passage directly lifted from other writers without proper citation.

In response to the bombshell accusations against her, Oxman acknowledged making errors in omitting quotation marks but maintained that proper credit was given through references.

"I was forwarded an email this morning from a reporter at Business Insider who noted that there are four paragraphs in my 330-page PhD dissertation: "Material-based Design Computation," which I completed at MIT in 2010," Oxman wrote on X Thursday.

"Where I omitted quotation marks for certain work that I used. For each of the four paragraphs in question, I properly credited the original source's author(s) with references at the end of each of the subject paragraphs, and in the detailed bibliography end pages of the dissertation."

"In these four paragraphs, however, I did not place the subject language in quotation marks, which would be the proper approach for crediting the work. I regret and apologize for these errors."

Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman with Bill Ackman X

"Business Insider also identified one sentence in the dissertation where I paraphrased Claus Mattheck and did not cite him," Oxman wrote.

"I should have provided a citation to Mattheck for the above sentence. I paraphrased from his book, 'Design in nature: learning from trees, Springer 1998,' which I cited throughout my thesis, and properly attributed in the sections which follow the subject sentence. I deeply apologize to Mattheck for inadvertently not citing him when I paraphrased the above sentence."

Raising Eyebrows

The remaining portion of the article explores the personal lives of Oxman and Ackman, highlighting Ackman's recent advocacy against plagiarism and anti-Semitism at Harvard, his alma mater.

Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman X

On Thursday, Ackman responded to the accusations against his wife in a post on X, expressing his admiration for her accomplishments and acknowledging her willingness to take responsibility for her mistakes.

"You know that you struck a chord when they go after your wife, in this case my love and partner in life, Neri Oxman," Ackman posted on X Thursday.

"Part of what makes her human is that she makes mistakes, owns them, and apologizes when appropriate. Neri, a former tenured professor at MIT, is the author of 74 peer-reviewed papers, eight peer-reviewed book chapters, and numerous other journal papers and proceedings."

"She has been awarded 15 patents for various innovations, and her work has been featured in 116 exhibitions around the world including two recent retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art and SF MoMA," Ackman added.

This comes as other mainstream media outlets are working to downplay the accusations against Gay.

The Associated Press faced criticism and had to retract an article on Gay's resignation. The original headline, suggesting plagiarism as a 'new conservative weapon,' was considered sensational and led to public backlash.

Claudine Gay
Claudine Gay X

On Tuesday, Gay, 53, stepped down as the President of Harvard University, expressing grievances in a pointed letter to colleagues and students. Notably, her resignation letter did not accept any responsibility for the controversies that marked her leadership.

Gay resigned from her position twenty-eight days after delivering a controversial response during congressional testimony on campus anti-Semitism. At the testimony, Gay declined to classify calls for the genocide of Jews as harassment and did not acknowledge the right of Jewish students to feel secure at Ivy League institutions.

Following Gay's resignation, Ackman advocated for the removal and replacement of the school's board. He claimed that the board shares equal responsibility for the issues faced by the university, alongside the ousted president Gay.