Harvard attempting to ‘redefine’ plagiarism to protect embattled President Claudine Gay, alleged victim says

EXCLUSIVE– Scholar and political scientist Carol Swain called for embattled Harvard President Claudine Gay to step down after the school’s highest governing body stood by her despite admitting a probe found “instances of inadequate citation” in her academic writings. 

“Claudine Gay needs to step down. Obviously, the Harvard Corporation did not have the courage to fire its first Black president, someone who should never have been elevated in the first place,” Swain, a retired Vanderbilt University professor, told Fox News Digital. Swain’s work was among the academic literature allegedly lifted by Gay in past writings without proper citation, according to reports last week.

Gay, who recently made headlines for refusing to say if genocide of Jews was against Harvard policy during a congressional hearing, was accused of plagiarism earlier this week. The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that in four papers published between 1993 and 2017, including her doctoral dissertation, Gay “paraphrased or quoted nearly 20 authors—including two of her colleagues in Harvard University’s department of government—without proper attribution,” according to an analysis by the investigative news site.

HARVARD BOARD STANDS BY EMBATTLED PRESIDENT CLAUDINE GAY, ADMITS ‘INADEQUATE CITATION’ IN SOME WRITINGS

Scholar Carol Swain says Harvard President Claudine Gay plagiarized her work. 

The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo and journalist Christopher Brunet also published instances of what they said were problematic sections of her Ph.D. dissertation that “violate Harvard’s own stated policies on academic integrity.” She also appeared, Rufo and Brunet wrote, to lift material from Swain’s book “Black Faces, Black Interests” without “citation of any kind.”

On Thursday, Harvard University’s highest governing body admitted a probe found “instances of inadequate citation” in her academic writings but they didn’t violate standards for “research misconduct.”

The decision left Swain furious, and she doesn’t believe Gay is fit for the job. It’s unclear if material Gay allegedly lifted from Swain was among the information viewed as inadequately cited by Harvard.

“Given the fact that they did not fire her, the right thing for her to do is to step down,” Swain said. 

“I hope that the pressure doesn’t relent until she does that because she’s harming academia, she’s harming Black people. She’s harming everyone who had to work and earn their way in academia,” Swain said. “And it doesn’t matter whether or not you are a professor or you are a journalist or in a field where you had to get a college degree. It was expected that you would write your papers and that you wouldn’t engage in plagiarism.”

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Claudine Gay

Harvard President Claudine Gay has been accused of plagiarism in her past academic writings, a serious offense.  (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Swain also objected to the language used in the statement supporting Gay. 

“With regard to President Gay’s academic writings, the University became aware in late October of allegations regarding three articles. At President Gay’s request, the Fellows promptly initiated an independent review by distinguished political scientists and conducted a review of her published work. On December 9, the Fellows reviewed the results, which revealed a few instances of inadequate citation. While the analysis found no violation of Harvard’s standards for research misconduct, President Gay is proactively requesting four corrections in two articles to insert citations and quotation marks that were omitted from the original publications,” Harvard Corporation wrote before declaring she had its full support. 

Swain believes the school is attempting to “redefine what is plagiarism” to protect the embattled head honcho. 

“My blood pressure is rising today because of Harvard University’s decision that what she did doesn’t constitute plagiarism, and it doesn’t rise to the level of her removal. My message to Harvard University is you don’t get to redefine what is plagiarism. Most of us know what plagiarism is,” she said. 

“What they have done is very demeaning to every person, not just racial and ethnic minorities, but anyone who has worked hard in school, who’s written papers, who’s tried to follow the guidelines,” Swain added. “It is an insult to intelligence what Harvard University has done.”

A former Democrat, Swain has long stood out in academia as outspokenly conservative on many issues. She served on President Trump’s “1776 Commission,” a response to the controversial “1619 Project” about slavery and the history of the United States.

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Swain believes Gay is “getting a free pass” because she was a “product” of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. 

“They have decided that they would rather lower standards for everyone rather than to hold her, who attended the most, you know, elite schools in America, to the same standards that average Americans are held to,” Swain said. 

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Harvard did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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