Harvard president under fire for more alleged plagiarism

When a Harvard student copies others' work without attribution, it's called "plagiarism." When a Harvard president does it, it's called "inadequate citation."

After is was discovered earlier this month that Harvard University President Claudine Gay copied other scholars' writing nearly word-for-word in several of her published articles, it said it found another instance of "duplicative language" in her 1997 doctoral dissertation.

From the New York Times:

Carol Swain, a political scientist who retired from Vanderbilt University in 2017, said that she was "livid," both at Dr. Gay's use of her work and Harvard's defense of her.

"I also have a concern that Harvard University decides it gets to redefine what plagiarism is when it suits its needs," she said. "That to me is unacceptable."

In the dissertation, Mr. Rufo said in his newsletter, Dr. Gay used Dr. Swain's work at least twice with no citation. In one example, Dr. Gay wrote, "Since the 1950s, the re-election rate for incumbent House members has rarely dipped below 90%." In an earlier book, Dr. Swain had written, "Since the 1950s the re-election rate for House members has rarely dipped below 90%." (It is unclear if Harvard's investigation deemed this example problematic.)

The left-leaning Boston Globe editorial board was also scathing about Harvard's initial statement on the plagiarism allegations, which it called "confusing."

"If Gay didn't violate any standards of research, why would she need to correct anything?" it asked.

Harvard students who plagiarize often get expelled. Dr. Gay gets the opportunity to "update her dissertation correcting these instances of inadequate citation," the university said in a statement.