(RepublicanJournal.org) – Harvard University President Claudine Gay recently made headlines over her lax treatment of Palestinian protesters, which angered Jewish supporters. Now, she’s facing calls to resign from her position over allegations that papers she published contain examples of plagiarism. The University has acknowledged “a few instances of inadequate citation” but defends its president’s academic integrity.
John McWhorter, an opinion writer for The New York Times, demanded that Gay resign in his December 21 write-up over her latest controversy. The Times had broken the news a day earlier, in response to the University’s dismissive official statement on the matter. The institution’s leaders disagreed that their president’s actions met the criteria for research misconduct, even though she failed to cite two full quotes in her 1997 doctoral dissertation — an offense that would have any undergraduate in serious hot water. The university later found two more articles that were missing citations.
Plagiarism is a serious issue, one that can lead to a student’s removal from Harvard University (or any school, for that matter) if they’re caught red-handed. Harvard’s research integrity policy for staff and faculty is just as strict, and it clearly indicates that, depending on the severity of an offense and whether the incident is isolated, an employee who engages in academic dishonesty is subject to termination from their position.
Any accusations of plagiarism must be solid, however, and the university is much more likely to be lenient on cases of sloppy work versus blatant copying of words or ideas. Gay’s work apparently skates a fine line, and she might easily argue that her mistakes were the result of negligence, not willful misconduct.
Calls for Gay’s removal began in October when the Harvard president made a statement during a congressional hearing that many people found to be anti-Semitic. The university stood by her throughout the controversy, defending her as the “right leader” for the academic institution.
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