Outgoing Harvard President Blames ‘Trap’ For Resignation

Resigned Harvard President Claudine Gay blamed an orchestrated effort in part for her ouster from the university. The former leader penned the thoughts in an op-ed just a day after stepping down amid significant criticism for reported plagiarism and allowing antisemitic rhetoric on campus.

Gay made the comments in an op-ed in the New York Times this week. She wrote that she had fallen “into a well-laid trap.”

“I neglected to clearly articulate that calls for the genocide of Jewish people are abhorrent and unacceptable and that I would use every tool at my disposal to protect students from that kind of hate,” she wrote.

Gay had been questioned on Capitol Hill alongside the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT. All three presidents came under criticism when asked about antisemitic acts on campus since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,200 Israelis.

The Harvard president gave a meandering response implying that calls for genocide against Jews were context-specific.

Gay’s op-ed was criticized for including information that was likely not true. She stated that she requested corrections for some of the copied work. However, there was no evidence of that. In fact, Harvard allegedly attempted to strongarm any whistleblowers from reporting on the alleged plagiarism.

Gay wrote that “critics found instances in my academic writings where some material duplicated other scholars’ language, without proper attribution.” This referenced at least nine different occasions in which she utilized others’ work. In one case, her writing appeared to be nearly identical to two pages of another academic’s research.

Gay said that his actions after the discovery of her copied work were “consistent with how I have seen similar faculty cases handled at Harvard.”

Even as the firestorm over the comments on Capitol Hill continued, Gay initially refused to step down and the Harvard board did not fire her. Reportedly, former President Barack Obama intervened on Gay’s behalf, requesting that Harvard not relieve the embattled administrator.