The president of Harvard University resigned Tuesday after coming under ferocious attack for her handling of anti-Semitism during protests over Gaza, as well as allegations that she had plagiarized in her academic work.
Claudine Gay was criticized in recent months after reports surfaced alleging that she did not properly cite scholarly sources. The most recent accusations came Tuesday, published anonymously in a conservative online outlet.
Gay was also engulfed by scandal after she declined to say unequivocally whether calling for genocide of Jews violated Harvard’s code of conduct, during testimony to Congress alongside the heads of MIT and the University of Pennsylvania last month.
Gay, who made history as the first Black person to be president of the powerhouse university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in her resignation letter that she’d been subjected to personal threats and “racial animus.”
Her downfall comes after the university’s governing Harvard Corporation had initially backed her after the public relations disaster of the congressional testimony.
But the body did criticize the university’s initial response to the Hamas October 7 attacks that Israel said killed 1,200 people inside Israel and saw around 240 people taken hostage.
Israel’s offensive has reduced much of Gaza to rubble and killed at least 22,185 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.