Major Players In Harvard Controversy Sound Off On Gay’s Resignation
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: Dr. Claudine Gay, President of Harvard University, testifies before the House Education and Workforce Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building on December 05, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Committee held a hearing to investigate antisemitism on college campuses. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Harvard University President Claudine Gay’s resignation on Tuesday prompted a wave of approving statements from people who figured prominently in the uproar that led to her exit.

After weeks of backlash over her testimony to Congress regarding anti-Semitism on campus and plagiarism allegations levied at her academic work, Gay announced her decision to step down and return to a faculty job at the university in a letter sent to members of the Harvard community following attempts to clarify her position on threats of violence against Jewish students and defend the “integrity” of her scholarship.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who spearheaded the line of inquiry during a December hearing in which Gay said “context” dictated whether calling for the genocide of Jews on campuses violated her school’s policies on bullying and harassment, issued a statement on the Harvard president’s “long overdue” resignation.

“I will always deliver results,” Stefanik said, adding, “Claudine Gay’s morally bankrupt answers to my questions made history as the most viewed Congressional testimony in the history of the U.S. Congress. Her answers were absolutely pathetic and devoid of the moral leadership and academic integrity required of the President of Harvard. This is just the beginning of what will be the greatest scandal of any college or university in history.”

Stefanik also declared a congressional investigation “will continue to move forward to expose the rot in our most ‘prestigious’ higher education institutions and deliver accountability to the American people.” The probe began after Gay, as well as MIT University President Sally Kornbluth and University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill, dodged on Stefanik’s line of questioning regarding anti-Semitism on campuses. Magill has since resigned.

The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo, whose reporting on the plagiarism accusations with journalist Chris Brunet drew an immense amount of scrutiny on Gay’s academic record and generated mounting pressure for her to step down, sounded off on social media.

“Glad she’s gone,” Rufo said in one post to X that highlighted how Gay, who is black, claimed in her resignation announcement that she had been subject to “personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus.”


He added in a different post, “This is the beginning of the end for DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] in America’s institutions. We will expose you. We will outmaneuver you. And we will not stop fighting until we have restored colorblind equality in our great nation.”

Another who commented on Gay’s resignation was Carol Swain, an author and legal scholar whose work was identified among those allegedly plagiarized by Gay dating back to the 1990s.

“Why did it take Harvard University and Ms. Gay so long to do the right thing for the good of the nation?” she asked.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, a Harvard alum and donor who has been severely critical of Gay and Harvard’s DEI program, set his sights on another target: MIT’s Kornbluth.

“Et tu Sally?” he posted to X.

Harvard University’s top governing body, the Harvard Corporation, said in a statement its members had accepted Gay’s resignation. The board also expressed “gratitude” to Gay for her “devoted service” to Harvard, condemned a wave of “repugnant and in some cases racist vitriol” directed at her in emails and phone calls, and thanked provost and chief academic officer Alan Garber for agreeing to serve as interim president until a new leader is chosen.

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