In light of the controversies that forced Claudine Gay to resign as president of Harvard, one would think that she would become a pariah in academia. The dozens of allegations of plagiarism alone should have made her unemployable. Unfortunately, Claudine Gay is getting the last laugh. Despite resigning as president of the once-top-rated university, she will remain employed at the school, making nearly $900,000 a year.
Political Science professor Gay — who stepped down amid a tempest of allegations she did not do enough to combat antisemitism and academic plagiarism Tuesday — will now return to a position on the Cambridge, Mass., school’s faculty.
Prior to being named president just six months ago, Gay earned $879,079 as a Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean in 2021 and $824,068 in 2020, according to records published by the university.
Her new position was not specified Tuesday, but she is expected to receive a salary comparable with what she previously received — if not higher.
It was also unclear how much of her presidential salary of roughly $1 million Gay would be entitled to after only serving in the post for six months.
Her predecessor, Lawrence Bacow, pulled in $1.3 million annually before his departure, according to the Harvard Crimson.
Harvard alum and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) blasted the decision to keep Gay on the faculty, earning close a $1 million a year.
“She’s not fit to be a faculty member,” Stefanik told The New York Post. “It’s unacceptable when you have students at Harvard who would be expelled for plagiarism to allow a faculty member who has nearly 50 examples of plagiarism in their very slim body of academic work. It’s absurd and everybody knows it. Harvard knows it too.”
An anonymous student who is part of Harvard’s Student Honor Council wrote a piece at The Harvard Crimson blasting the double standard the school has for faculty and students.
“I have served as a voting member of the Harvard College Honor Council, the body tasked with upholding the College’s community standards of academic integrity,” the student wrote. “In my time on the Council, I heard dozens of cases. When students — my classmates, peers, and friends — appear before the council, they are distraught. For most, it is the worst day of their college careers. For some, it is the worst day of their lives. They often cry.”
According to the author, “Omitting quotation marks, citing sources incompletely, or not citing sources at all constitutes plagiarism according to Harvard’s definitions,” and such cases represent a plurality of those before the Honor Council, typically resulting in at least one term of probation — which is a permanent mark on the student’s record. “A student on probation is no longer considered in good standing, disqualifying them from opportunities like fellowships and study-abroad programs. Good standing is also required to receive a degree.”
While students face steep penalties for not having adequate citations, the student noted that when “the president of their university is found responsible for the same types of infractions, the fellows of the Corporation ‘unanimously stand in support of’ her.”
Claudine Gay may have resigned, but no one is holding her accountable. Anything short of her termination from the school tells us that the culture at Harvard isn’t going to change. Imagine being a student accused of plagiarism for omitting a quotation mark and having your academic career on the line while Claudine Gay is still getting nearly a million dollars a year despite years of plagiarism and shoddy research.
Would you want to go to that school?