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The Scandalous Saga of Claudine Gay

Her colleagues in the profession of political science have had a great deal to say about Harvard President Claudine Gay, none of it having to do with the moral failure exhibited in her recent testimony about how she would deal with threats of “genocide” made to Jewish students on the Harvard campus. But her saga — her resistible affirmative-actionable rise to the top — does provide a case study in much that is wrong in American academic life today. People in her field have described her “shoddy and practically non-existent scholarship,” the “worst example of affirmative action I have ever seen,” “a petty and vicious little woman,” her work is “flawed and fraudulent,” “virtually all of her meager body of work is flawed,” her publications are “almost without exception flawed and dishonest” and much more in that vein. Yet here she is — despite all that — the President of Harvard.

For those who wish to see the many other academic and campus scandals, each one worse than the next, in which Claudine Gay has been involved, see this extensive exposé that was published over a year and a half ago but got little attention: “The Curious Case of Claudine Gay,” by Christopher Brunet, Karlstack, April 17, 2022:

Claudine Gay first came to my attention about a month ago, when she emerged as the central figure in the Ryan Enos data fabrication scandal, as documented in these 3 articles:

1. EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Report Shows Harvard Professor Fabricated Data

2. Why Is Jesse Singal Whitewashing Harvard’s Corruption?

3. Pressure Mounts on Harvard Professor to Come Clean Over Fraudulent Data

Gay’s Role in the Ryan Enos Scandal

I will briefly summarize Gay’s ~*~alleged~*~ involvement in the Enos scandal.

In 2018, a whistleblower approached Harvard with a report that showed Ryan Enos, a professor in the department of government, falsified the dataset used in his AJPS article and CUP book. Rather than investigate this claim, Claudine Gay had the Harvard Committee on Professional Conduct write a dismissal letter with the justification that CPC is not the appropriate unit to investigate, so the report is dismissed.

This is both false and contradictory: If it *had* been true, then the CPC should have forwarded the letter to the appropriate unit to investigate and would have had no authority to dismiss the report. Plus the Chief Research Integrity Officer in the Provost’s Office had initially forwarded the report to the CPC to investigate. So the dismissal letter, which could only have been issued with Gay’s approval, also contradicts the statement of an official in the Harvard Provost’s office.

According to the Harvard policy, there were only two possible reasons to dismiss the report without launching an inquiry, 1) Allegations do not meet the definition of misconduct, and 2) there was not enough information for investigators to be able to verify the misconduct. Neither of those two reasons applies in this case.

This scandal was Gay’s ticket to failing upward: a previously scheduled Dean search was cancelled*** to ensure this Enos blunder stayed swept under the rug, Gay was abruptly fast-tracked from Dean of Social Sciences to Dean of Faculty.

***I asked Harvard spokesperson directly about this Dean search and they maintain it never existed. Other insiders have told me it did exist:

What happened at Harvard? Why didn’t they have the normal search for new FAS Dean? Something is very fishy here. Did she do something wrong and they’re trying to help her get away with it?”

— Anonymous

Update: after I posted this article, an anonymous commenter confirmed that the Dean search did exist by leaking the specific email. Meaning, if this person is correct, Harvard officials lied to my face about the Dean search never existing.

The reason Gay is so aggressively covering for Enos is that he works in the same niche subfield of “racial threat theory” like her; they cite each other in their papers extensively. Despite this conflict of interest, Gay did not recuse herself from investigating Enos. Rather, she used the opportunity to aggressively cover up his research misconduct. She knows that if his papers are proven to be fake, then her papers will also be proven to be fake — even more fake than they have already proven to be (more on this later). If he goes down, she goes down.

This mutually assured destruction is doubly true because Harvard policy also states that covering up research misconduct is itself research misconduct. Meaning according to Harvard’s own rules, Gay has already committed research misconduct by sweeping Enos’ research misconduct under the rug. So Claudine Gay now has no choice but to keep doubling down… and doubling down… and doubling down… and doubling down… and doubling down… letting the snowball of lies build.

“Failure to report observed research misconduct: covering up or otherwise failing to report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct by others;”

— Harvard’s Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct

This mutually assured destruction is triply true because the only time Enos has ever addressed this scandal, he threw Gay under the bus. What he’s implicitly saying in this Twitter thread is that she never brought the allegations to his attention (which she was obligated to do, anonymous or not).:

If I am Harvard President Lawrence Bacow or Provost Alan Garber [as of 2022, when this article was written] reading this inept Twitter thread, I am furious at the PR damage Enos is doing to Harvard.

By not addressing any of the issues in the report Enos is making Claudine Gay look really bad. If she had a valid reason to “readily dismiss” the report it should have been something so trivial and obvious he could have addressed that in one tweet. Instead he posts 16 tweets, none of which even attempt to offer plausible deniability of falsification and fabrication.

— Anonymous…

Gay’s Role in the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

The previous Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who Gay replaced in 2018, Michael Smith, had drawn too much heat for the numerous scandals he himself was embroiled in, such as the fact that he had approved Jeffrey Epstein’s phone & office (the Program on Evolutionary Dynamics is part of FAS). Claudine Gay allowed Michael Smith to get away scot-free in the Harvard-Epstein ties investigation — she came in and nicely whitewashed it all away. Claudine Gay has Epstein coverup stink on her, and Michael Smith has major Epstein stink on him….

The fact is, Bacow [Gay’s predecessor as Presdient of Harvard] and Garber know that the Enos report was dismissed with a legally illiterate response, they know of Gay’s conflicts of interests she had about covering up for Enos, they know that Enos has not been able to contend with one single claim of the report, and they have seen him throw Gay under the bus with that Twitter thread. They also know that everyone else knows that they know. At this point is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that Enos committed fraud? Is there any doubt that Claudine is incompetent and deeply corrupt?

Bacow and Garber have to choose [remember: this was written in 2022] between throwing Claudine Gay under the bus or going down in flames with her in a huge public scandal. Just as with Dominguez, the Enos case needs to be reopened at Harvard and investigated properly this time. The longer Harvard takes to fire them, the higher the reputation costs.

I am actually pretty optimistic that the right thing will eventually be done here. Why? Because this scandal is barely a month old. Harvard doesn’t do anything in a couple of weeks, or a couple of months. The game is still very much afoot. Harvard is notoriously slow to act in misconduct cases. In the Hauser case, it took them several years to do the right thing. In the end, Hauser resigned citing “exciting opportunities in the private sector.” As in the Hauser case, Harvard will probably first pressure Enos to resign, and if he refuses they will terminate him for cause and revoke tenure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gay gracefully step down sometime this summer. If I had to guess, I would say that she will probably scamper off to be President at some LAC somewhere.

His optimism was, alas, unjustified. Claudine Gay did not step down in 2022, when this piece was written. Despite her monstrous record of shoddy and dishonest work, and her protection of others equally guilty of shoddy and dishonest work, instead of being discharged from Harvard, she instead was selected to be Harvard’s new president.

That is how Harvard rolls. There will be consequences, but those consequences will involve a golden parachute much like the parachute that was given to former Harvard Law School Dean of Students Marcia Sells, who as described in my HARVARD LIE SCHOOL article, withdrew from her role as Dean of Students abruptly and instead got a cushy job being “Head of Diversity” at the Metropolitan Opera.

Claudine Gay didn’t get a golden parachute. Instead, she was given the Grand Prize — President of Harvard. How many members of the Corporation who picked her had any idea of her reputation among her colleagues as a poor and dishonest scholar, who has now ridden the Affirmative Action bus all the way from Stanford to her new presidential office at Massachusetts Hall?

Since her remarkable record of lack of accomplishment, now set out so methodically by Chris Brunet, has not been enough to derail her, perhaps it will be Claudine Gay’s mealy-mouthed answers to Congresswoman Stefanik that will finally put paid to her career. Let us hope.

The Executive Committee of Harvard University’s Alumni Association on Monday announced their unreserved support for President Claudine Gay.

The group’s backing comes as the Harvard Corporation, one of the governing bodies running the university, is expected to announce a decision on the fate of Gay on Tuesday, a source familiar with the university’s thinking told CNN.

The growing chorus of support from Harvard’s community may mean that she will survive the firestorm of pressure to resign or be fired by school leadership. A petition signed by hundreds of faculty members cited Gay’s skills in brokering dialogue between both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, her communication with the community, alumni leaders and supporters, as well her “empathetic, moral and skilled leadership.” Another letter signed by more than 800 Black alumni commended Gay’s “commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism” while weighing complicated issues.

Gay has faced calls for her removal for failing to effectively denounce threats of violence against Jewish students during the contentious congressional testimony last week of three university presidents that led to the resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill on Saturday.

“President Gay is the right leader to guide the University during this challenging time,” the committee wrote in a letter to school officials. “She is thoughtful. She is kind. She is resolutely dedicated to the growth and wellbeing of our very diverse community. We recognize that there was disappointment in her testimony this past week. President Gay has pointed this out and apologized for any pain her testimony caused–a powerful demonstration of her integrity, determination, and courage.”

Gay apologized last week for testimony before a House committee on December 5, in which she, Magill and MIT President Sally Kornbluth failed to explicitly say calls for genocide of Jews would violate their schools’ codes of conduct.

Harvard has encountered difficulty combating a rise in antisemitic incidents on campus, although recent claims of antisemitism at Penn were considered far worse. Still, a growing number of members of Congress, donors and other prominent leaders have called for Gay to step down.

‘One down. Two to go’

“One down. Two to go,” Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York wrote Saturday on X, formerly known as Twitter, with the “two” being a reference to Gay and Kornbluth. “In the case of @Harvard, President Gay was asked by me 17x whether calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard’s code of conduct. She spoke her truth 17x. And the world heard.”

Stefanik, along with a group of 71 bipartisan lawmakers, sent a letter to the governing boards of Harvard, Penn, and MIT urging them to remove their university leaders.

Meanwhile, more than 700 Harvard faculty members have signed a petition backing Gay. Additionally, over 800 Black alumni have announced their “unequivocal support” for Gay and her efforts to “build a stronger, more inclusive community at our alma matter while balancing the critical principals of free thought and free speech.”

Gay had apologized for her remarks before Congress. “I am sorry,” she said in an interview with The Harvard Crimson on Thursday. “Words matter.”

“I got caught up in what had become at that point, an extended, combative exchange about policies and procedures,” Gay told the student newspaper. “What I should have had the presence of mind to do in that moment was return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community — threats to our Jewish students — have no place at Harvard, and will never go unchallenged.”

But some major donors were unmoved, particularly Bill Ackman, a billionaire hedge fund CEO, who has been among Gay’s most vocal critics.

“As a result of President Gay’s failure to enforce Harvard’s own rules, Jewish students, faculty and others are fearful for their safety as even the physical abuse of students remains unpunished,” Ackman wrote in an open letter to Harvard’s governing board of Sunday. “Knowing what we know now, would Harvard consider Claudine Gay for the position? The answer is definitively “No.” With this simple thought experiment, the board’s decision on President Gay could not be more straightforward.”

Harvard is one of several academic institutions to come under fire in recent months over alleged antisemitism on campuses following the terror attacks by Hamas on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent strikes on Gaza. Harvard is also among 14 colleges under investigation by the Department of Education since the attacks “for discrimination involving shared ancestry” an umbrella term that covers both Islamophobia and antisemitism.

Although Magill resigned, it wasn’t clear if other presidents would follow suit. MIT is standing by its president: The Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation, MIT’s governing board, issued a statement last week saying President Sally Kornbluth has their “full and unreserved support.”

Gay’s approach

Gay, a political scientist whose work focuses on intersections of politics and race, was inaugurated as Harvard’s 30th president in July after serving as dean of the school’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Unlike Gay, Magill was under fire for months prior to her resignation. Donors had been calling for Magill’s resignation since September, when the university allowed speakers that Penn’s administration acknowledged had a history of making antisemitic remarks to participate in the “Palestine Writes Literature Festival” on campus. Those existing tensions were further inflamed once the current Israel-Hamas war began.

Gay has also been vocal in her acknowledgement of Jewish students’ concerns.

On October 7, a coalition of student groups released a statement placing the blame for Hamas’ attacks on Israel’s government. The letter drew sweeping condemnation from business leaders and alumni, who called for the students whose groups signed the statement to be blacklisted. A spokesperson for the coalition later wrote in a statement that the group “staunchly opposes violence against civilians — Palestinian, Israeli, or other.”

Three days after the coalition posted its letter, Gay released a statement condemning the “terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas” and affirming that “no student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.”

In a speech at Harvard’s Jewish student organization in late October, Gay announced  that she had assembled an advisory group of “faculty, staff, alumni, and religious leaders from the Jewish community” who “will help us to think expansively and concretely about all the ways that antisemitism shows up on our campus and in our campus culture.”

That has not made Gay less susceptible to criticism, but her willingness to take accountability in the face of criticism may be the determining factor in whether she ultimately steps down.

Community backlash takes different forms

Business leaders and alumni have criticized Gay and her counterparts over their perceived inaction in combatting antisemitism on their campuses. Following Gay’s testimony before Congress, Ackman demanded that Gay, along with Magill and Kornbluth, “resign in disgrace,” citing disgust with their testimony.

Ackman, a Harvard graduate, has also questioned Gay’s academic integrity and values, posting on social media content that implies Gay, who is the first Black woman to lead Harvard, was hired to fulfill diversity metrics.

In his open letter Sunday, Ackman said Gay had done more damage to Harvard’s reputation than anyone in the university’s history.

“Because she failed to condemn the most vile and barbaric terrorism the world has ever seen, for supporting rather than condemning 34 Harvard-branded student organizations who hold Israel ‘entirely responsible’ for Hamas’ barbaric acts, for failing to enforce Harvard’s own rules on student conduct, and for her other failures of leadership, President Gay catalyzed an explosion of antisemitism and hate on campus that is unprecedented in Harvard’s history,” Ackman wrote.

But criticism from Harvard’s community has largely framed discrimination on campus as a systemic issue, not a moral failing on Gay’s part. In the statement announcing his resignation from Harvard’s antisemitism advisory group last week following Gay’s testimony, Rabbi David Wolpe said that combatting the combination of ideologies at Harvard that frame Jews as oppressors while “belittling and denying the Jewish experience … is the work of more than a committee or a single university.”

“It is not going to be changed by hiring or firing a single person,” he wrote, after emphasizing that he believes Gay is “both a kind and thoughtful person.”

Alumni donors — more than 1,800 of whom signed an open letter to Gay and Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana — have called for concrete reforms to support Jews on campus and have warned that they would withdraw their donations if those steps were not taken.

Faculty pledge support for Gay

As of Monday morning, more than 700 Harvard faculty members signed a petition urging school officials to resist calls for Gay’s removal. According to the 2023 Harvard annual report, the university has 1,068 tenured faculty plus 403 tenure-track faculty.

“We, the undersigned faculty, urge you in the strongest possible terms to defend the independence of the university and to resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom, including calls for the removal of President Claudine Gay,” the petition said. “The critical work of defending a culture of free inquiry in our diverse community cannot proceed if we let its shape be dictated by outside forces.”

Individual faculty have also taken to social media in recent days to express their support for Gay.

“Anti-semitism at @harvard is real… but this issue is systemic, and calls on President Gay to resign are misguided,” said computer science professor Boaz Barak in a post on X.

“I really hope we don’t let donors & politicians dictate who leads our school,” wrote Jason Furman, an economic policy professor and former chair of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers, adding that Gay condemned calls for genocide before, during and after the congressional hearing.

Former Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Flier said in a post on X: “I hope the appreciation by President Gay of the key issues will rise to a new level, and emerge as a coherent set of approaches to strengthen the @Harvard community as bastion for free speech, academic freedom and civil discourse.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Why is it that all positions at the top of public office in western countries are usually filled by the most unqualified people, simple really, the biggest lump of shit always rises to the top, as proof look at the POS Ardern who destroyed her own country then bolted for the airport and migrated to a prestigious position in Harvard University, the most morally corrupt of all elite universities in the US.

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  2. Komata, yes it was official government policy here in Gayotearoa a decade ago I just can’t remember the name it was given, oh yeah “closing the gaps” I think it was , I believe it was the wierd queers party’s idea.

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  3. This is the same lane as Ardern in getting to Harvard. A mouth of codswallop to gain merit.

    Revoke The Award Immediately
    https://youtu.be/zRvqI8WJ68I
    57 secs : May 7th 2023 : Ben Shapiro

    Mathematician and a physicist? ….. yeah right …..
    via the osmosis of learning with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, as DEI rules.
    Seems to be the way of being “institutionalized”.

    One has to admit, the jab from that “double major” about Ben Shapiro’s Harvard Law Degree, was on target. 🙂 🙂

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  4. Seriously? Why was there no health warning on this article? Scrolling down and seeing that image made me want to puke and smash the screen at the same time. Not happy. ( the only image I ever want to see of Ardern is one where there is a rope around her neck, or a coffin encasing her putrid remains.)

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  5. I must say an appropriate name for a clownworld tyrant.

    The factions within the ruling oligarchy are fighting. Good. She represents where our universities are going fast. Ditching maths, history, english, mediciene and science, for paganistic rituals.

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  6. Universities, where muppets go to get brainwashed and debit riddled, if that place gave the fush n chup wrapper a degree, says much for the piece of paper they get at the end of it all, worth as much as used shit paper

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