by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Now that Claudine Gay is out as president at Harvard after a plagiarism scandal, will Barack Obama become the university’s next president? …
… It seems a little tenuous, given that the Boston Globe cited experts who emphasized that holding the post is hard work, and we all know what Obama’s work ethic was like as president. That clearly carried over from Obama college days. Obama’s academic output while at Harvard was about nil, and even while holding the prestigious post as editor of the Harvard Law Review, he has no articles to his name, which many legal observers found highly unusual when the news of it came out.
In short, he’d bring glitz to Harvard, but probably wouldn’t do much to change the negative trajectory of the university. Billionaire vacays, adoring speeches, and lots of money flowing would probably be the next thing up for the university, but no restoration of merit over DEI nor any changes to the faculty lounge culture at the school that could wave people like Claudine Gay right through on her doctorate and her presidency of the school with no scrutiny of her obvious plagiarism.
Obama lobbied hard for Gay to stay, and the university powers that be ruled against him in the end,. so he lost that battle. Obama himself is a firm supporter of affirmative action over merit-based admission and hiring, and has stated in the past that he never felt that his easy ride upward as an affirmative action admission to all the prestigious schools he went to ever resulted in anyone looking in askance at his credentials. He’d keep the bad course the school is on, where DEI overrides academic freedom on every front.