Harvard president ‘definitely’ plagiarized in peer-reviewed academic papers, scholars say: report

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Harvard University has been rocked in the news cycle after its president Claudine Gay’s congressional testimony on antisemitism last week sparked national outrage.

Now, a look at her academic work has scholars saying Gay ‘definitely’ plagiarized almost 20 authors in four of her 11 peer-reviewed academic papers, including her doctoral dissertation.

The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo and Karlstack’s Chris Brunet published the initial report alleging plagiarism by Gay on Sunday.

Rufo and Brunet lay out several instances of alleged plagiarism by Gay, including taking a full paragraph from Franklin Gilliam’s and Lawrence Bobo’s paper ‘Race, Sociopolitical Participation, and Black Empowerment,’ which Gay used nearly verbatim in her 1997 Harvard political science doctoral dissertation, ‘Taking Charge: Black Electoral Success and the Redefinition of American Policies.’

The pair noted that while Gay referenced both Bobo and Gilliam in the paper, she did not use quotation marks for the language she pulled and only changed a few words.

The Washington Free Beacon analyzed 29 potential instances of plagiarism in Gay’s work that appeared to be lifted from almost a dozen scholars.

In at least 10 instances, Gay used complete sentences and paragraphs from sources with minor changes to only a few words, the report states.

The majority of the scholars told the Free Beacon that Gay not only went against her university’s policy on plagiarism but also a basic principle of academic integrity.

Former Boston University associate provost Peter Wood told the Free Beacon that if ‘this were a stand-alone instance, it would be reprehensible but perhaps excused as the blunder of someone working hastily.’

‘But that excuse vanishes as the examples multiply,’ Wood, the director of the National Association of Scholars, continued.

‘This is definitely plagiarism,’ Rutgers University social psychologist Lee Jussim said. ‘The longer passages are the most egregious,’

Gay appeared to lift a full paragraph in her 1997 thesis from then-Harvard political science professor Bradley Palmquist and her Ph.D. classmate Stephen Voss, with minor alterations to the text.

One of the few changes that Gay made was changing the word ‘decrease’ to ‘increase’ when analyzing different data, according to the report, and Gay also took two paragraphs from Palmquist and Voss unchanged without quotations or citations.

Gay took barely modified passages and historical details from scholars David Covin and George Reid Andrews for her 1993 essay, ‘Between Black and White: The Complexity of Brazilian Race Relations,’ without citing Covin, the report states.

In another piece, Gay appeared to take words from a 2003 Department of Housing and Urban Development report written by eight researchers, including three Harvard economists, for her 2012 piece, ‘Moving To Opportunity: The Political Effects of a Housing Mobility Experiment.’

The Free Beacon report also alleges that Gay used passages from Alex Schwartz’s 2010 book, ‘Housing Policy in the United States,’ and from the 2011 paper ‘Low-Income Housing Development and Urban Crime’ by Matthew Freedman and Emily Owens for another piece titled ‘A Room for One’s Own? The Partisan Allocation of Affordable Housing.’

Schwartz and the eight researchers were cited in the piece, the report states, but not where their work was allegedly taken. Gay cited neither Freedman nor Owens, but the Harvard president thanked the pair for using their data. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Harvard University and Gay for comment.

Harvard released a statement Tuesday regarding the decision to keep Gay as president, which referred to the allegations of plagiarism as ‘a few instances of inadequate citation.’

‘With regard to President Gay’s academic writings, the University became aware in late October of allegations regarding three articles. At President Gay’s request, the Fellows promptly initiated an independent review by distinguished political scientists and conducted a review of her published work,’ Harvard wrote.

‘On December 9, the Fellows reviewed the results, which revealed a few instances of inadequate citation. While the analysis found no violation of Harvard’s standards for research misconduct, President Gay is proactively requesting four corrections in two articles to insert citations and quotation marks that were omitted from the original publications.’

Fox News Digital asked the university when the corrected pieces would be published, but did not receive a response. 

Gay, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth each faced intense backlash after they appeared before Congress last week and were grilled about their handling of antisemitism on their respective campuses following the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel in October.

Gay responded to House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik’s question during the antisemitism hearing on whether calls for Jewish genocide on campus violated Harvard’s code of conduct.

‘It can be, depending on the context,’ Gay responded.

Gay will keep her job after telling Congress that calls for Jewish genocide may not violate the Harvard code of conduct, but Magill has resigned her post at Penn.

On Tuesday, the Harvard Corporation, announced that Gay would stay in her position, the Harvard Crimson reported.

Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed reporting.

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