Photo Credit: House Committee on Education and the Workforce
From left: Claudine Gay (Harvard University president), Elizabeth Magill (University of Pennsylvania president), American University professor Pamela Nadell and Sally Kornbluth (Massachusetts Institute of Technology president) testify during a House committee hearing about antisemitism on campus on Dec. 5, 2023.

Harvard University’s President, Claudine Gay, faced escalating calls for her resignation from influential alumni, donors, and politicians. These demands came after her dismal performance in Congress addressing antisemitism at Harvard and other U.S. universities. Additionally, Gay grappled with nearly 50 allegations of serial plagiarism, including six new allegations on Monday, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

Finally, on Tuesday, Gay submitted her resignation, as first reported by The Harvard Crimson. This move solidified her tenure as the shortest in Harvard’s history, lasting a mere six months and two days.


During congressional testimony, Gay, along with University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth, evaded direct questions from New York GOP Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. Stefanik pressed them on whether advocating “for the genocide of Jews” violated their universities’ codes of conduct regarding bullying and harassment.

Gay’s response became particularly notorious. She ambiguously stated, “It can be, depending on the context.” When pushed to clarify this “context,” Gay elaborated, “When targeted at an individual.” Despite further pressing, her responses remained elusive. While she acknowledged that antisemitic rhetoric could constitute bullying or harassment, she continuously dodged directly addressing the issue of genocide.

Gay also commented on incidents like students chanting ‘intifada’ on Harvard’s campus. She asserted that such “hateful, reckless, offensive speech” offended her personally. However, she emphasized that actionable steps would only be taken if the speech violated university policies against bullying, harassment, or intimidation.

Gay’s failure to unequivocally condemn calls for genocide had repercussions. Harvard experienced a significant financial setback, losing millions in donations and witnessing a 17% decline in early applications.

University Provost Alan M. Garber will assume the role of Harvard’s interim president until a permanent successor is appointed, according to The Crimson.

Content by David Israel and Hana Levi Julian were used in this report.


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