Harvard University President Claudine Gay announced Tuesday afternoon that she will step aside following new accusations of plagiarism. Her resignation comes just six months after she was appointed in the top job.
A letter from Gay, the university’s first Black president, that was posted on Harvard’s website read in part:
“It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I came to easily. Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries. But, after consultation with members of the 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.”
Her departure follows heightened scrutiny of allegations that she plagiarized parts of some of her published works and in the wake of a controversial appearance before Congress last month.
At that Dec. 5 hearing, Gay, along with the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, struggled to provide clear answers when asked about their policies in cases where students advocate genocide against Jews.
The announcement also comes less than a month after the Harvard Corporation, the university’s highest governing body, released a statement in support of Gay’s tenure.