by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Harvard University on Tuesday received a complaint outlining over 40 allegations of plagiarism against its embattled president, Claudine Gay. The document paints a picture of a pattern of misconduct more extensive than has been previously reported and puts the Harvard Corporation, the university’s governing body—which said it initiated an “independent review” of Gay’s scholarship and issued a statement of support for her leadership—back in the spotlight.
The new allegations, which were submitted to Harvard’s research integrity officer, Stacey Springs, include the examples reported by the Washington Free Beacon and other outlets, as well as dozens of additional cases in which Gay quoted or paraphrased authors without proper attribution, according to a copy of the complaint reviewed by the Free Beacon. They range from missing quotation marks around a few phrases or sentences to entire paragraphs lifted verbatim.
The full list of examples spans seven of Gay’s publications—two more than previously reported—which comprise almost half of her scholarly output. Though the Harvard Corporation said earlier this month that it initiated an independent review of Gay’s work in October and found “no violation of Harvard’s standards for research misconduct,” that probe focused on just three papers.
“[I]t is impossible that your office has already reviewed the entirety of these materials,” the complaint reads, “as many … have not been previously reported or submitted.”
All allegations of faculty plagiarism must be reviewed by Harvard’s research integrity officer, according to the school’s official policies, and if deemed credible are referred for further investigation. A guilty finding can result in a range of consequences—including “suspension,” “rank reduction,” and “termination of employment.”
In determining the appropriate sanction, the school claims to consider whether the misconduct “was an isolated event or part of a pattern.”