The daughter of Haitian immigrants, the 53-year-old had become the first black woman at the helm of the most famous university in the United States: she was forced to resign amid accusations of anti-Semitism.
Claudine Gay, president of Harvard, has resigned from the leadership of the prestigious university. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, the 53-year-old had become the first black woman at the helm of the most famous university in the United States. Her resignation comes after weeks of controversy, including accusations of anti-Semitism in protests on campus, and criticism that she copied material by her into her academic publications without properly citing sources.
“It is with great emotion but with great love for Harvard that I write to inform you that I am resigning,” the 53-year-old wrote in a letter, adding that “it was scary to have been subject to personal attacks and threats fueled by racism“. Claudine Gay remained at the top of the university for only six months; Alan Garber, doctor and economist, will now take her place.
Claudine Gay is the second head of an Ivy League university to resign in recent weeks. Last month he left his University of Pennsylvania colleague Elizabeth Magill, co-protagonist with Gay and MIT’s Sally Kornbluth of a congressional hearing in which the three deans seemed to overlook episodes of anti-Semitism and threats to Jewish students following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.
Gay’s resignation ends the shortest tenure in Harvard’s centuries-old history, the student newspaper Harvard Crimson noted. A professor of African and African-American studies, Claudine took up the position in July, six months after she was appointed. In December, with the board’s blessing, he initially saved his job after controversial testimony in the House in which, pressed by Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, he responded that “it depends on the context” when asked whether “to ask whether the genocide of the Jews violated the Harvard rules”.
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