Harvard president resigns after rows over plagiarism, anti-Semitism


“DISMAL CONDUCT”

More than 70 lawmakers, including two Democrats, called for her resignation, while a number of high-profile Harvard alumni and donors also called for her departure.

Still, more than 700 Harvard faculty members had signed a letter supporting Gay and her job had appeared to be safe.

The resignation, first reported by the student-run newspaper the Harvard Crimson, was confirmed shortly after by Gay herself.

“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,” Gay said in a statement.

In the United States, the anti-Semitism on campus controversy came amid a rise in attacks and violent rhetoric targeting Jews and Muslims, including at universities, since the Israel-Hamas war erupted.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, a close US ally, has claimed that a “whopping wave of anti-Semitism” has “seeped onto university campuses”.

Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, has described it as a “cancer”.

Former student and multi-million-dollar donor Bill Ackman claimed in a letter to Harvard’s governing boards that “President Gay’s failures have led to billions of dollars of cancelled, paused, and withdrawn donations to the university.”

Gay, 53, was born in New York to Haitian immigrants and is a professor of political science who in July became the first Black president of 368-year-old Harvard.

“Leadership failure and denial of anti-Semitism have a price. Hope glorious Harvard University learns from this dismal conduct,” wrote new Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz in response to the reports of Gay’s imminent departure.



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