WASHINGTON: Harvard President Claudine Gay has quit. In a letter to the Harvard community, Gay said her decision to step down had been “difficult beyond words.” Her six-month tenure was marred by allegations of plagiarism and backlash over her congressional testimony about antisemitism on campus.
Gay had come under pressure to resign from Harvard’s Jewish community and some members of Congress over her comments at the December 5 congressional hearing, while also facing several allegations of plagiarism for her academic work in recent months.
“After consultation with members of the (Harvard) Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual,” she wrote.
The Harvard Corporation, the university’s 11-member governing body, said in an email to the community that its members had accepted Gay’s resignation “with sorrow,” and that the school’s provost and chief academic officer, Alan Garber, would take over as interim president.
Gay, along with former President of the University of Pennsylvania Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth had testified before a US House of Representatives Committee about a rise in antisemitism on college campuses following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in October.