A top diversity officer at Harvard University was accused of having plagiarized significant work, falling in the shadow of ousted former President Claudine Gay. The two major accusations come as Harvard’s credibility is under increased scrutiny in recent months.
The college’s chief DEI officer, Sherri Ann Charleston, was accused of plagiarizing at least 40 academic works in the last 15 years. This includes reports that she did not accurately cite material she utilized in her papers.
Furthermore, she allegedly used quotations or findings from twelve scholars without attributing the work to them.
Charleston is also accused of using the work of her husband LaVar Charleston, who is another college’s DEI chief, and passing it off as her own.
One article, published in the Journal of Negro Education, allegedly reused old information and passed it off as new research.
Harvard did not reply to the accusations at the time of this writing.
SCOOP: Harvard's chief diversity officer, Sherri Ann Charleston, appears to have plagiarized extensively in her academic work, lifting large chunks of text without quotation marks and even taking credit for a study done by another scholar—her own husband.🧵https://t.co/Kqwj3srXo0
— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) January 30, 2024
This is not the first major accusation of plagiarism in recent months. The controversy involving the university’s former president stemmed from her original dissertation. Following the discovery, Gay was forced to correct the document.
Some critics argued that if a Harvard student had done the same thing, they would have faced sharp academic sanctions.
Gay resigned after weeks of pressure after her testimony before Capitol Hill and after it was revealed that she had plagiarized a significant amount of academic work.
The former president received considerable criticism from Republicans and some Democrats for meandering answers regarding antisemitism at Harvard.
Members of Congress requested that Gay and the heads of MIT and the University of Pennsylvania testify following antisemitic actions on campus since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas last October.
Gay was unable to clearly answer questions about whether or not statements related to the destruction of the state of Israel were antisemitic or not, stating that it depended on the wider context.
Following the testimony, conservative journalists discovered the plagiarism. Despite being initially backed by Harvard’s board and former President Barack Obama, Gay eventually resigned under pressure.