Harvard Corporation Betrays Harvard

David Randall

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) deeply regrets that the Harvard Corporation has decided not to remove Claudine Gay from Harvard University's presidency. The members of the Corporation write that, “Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing.” If this is the judgment of the Harvard Corporation, it gives cause for the American public to affirm its lack of confidence in the capacity of the Harvard Corporation to deliberate on behalf of Harvard University.

As we wrote when we called on Claudine Gay to be removed from Harvard’s presidency,

  • Christopher Rufo and Chris Benet have just obtained documentation that apparently proves that Gay plagiarized substantial portions of her doctoral thesis—not least in irony, from noted conservative political scientist Carol Swain.
  • As noted a year ago by NAS’s David Randall, Gay, although promoted within the academic track, has never published an academic book. This is not a sin as plagiarism is, but it registers her obvious unfitness to be a professor at Harvard, much less its president.
  • Chris Brunet also has shown how Gay’s administrative work at Harvard has consisted to a considerable extent of covering up real scandals or in groundlessly persecuting innocent professors, such as Roland Fryer.
  • Gay argued forcefully in 2020 for the tighter imposition of the so-called “anti-racist” agenda at Harvard University—which is actually racist—including exhortation for, and announcement of her own plans to execute, racially discriminatory hiring practices.
  • Since the October 7 mass murder of Israelis by Hamas, Gay has winked at the chronic harassment of Jews by Muslims and the far left at Harvard, and extenuated and protected it by calling it free speech.
  • Gay also has revealed extraordinary moral obtuseness by her inability to speak clearly to condemn the moral degenerates of Harvard who have glorified the butchery of Jews and, under the thin disguise of the slogan “From the River to the Sea,” called for the genocide of the Jewish nation of Israel.

To what we wrote then, we may add the new evidence published by Aaron Sibarium that Gay continued to plagiarize in several of her peer-reviewed publications. Gay’s scanty record of publication already rendered her unfit to be a professor at Harvard—much less its president. Now we know that even those few publications were tainted by plagiarism.

Claudine Gay exemplifies and is the champion of the interlocking ailments of affirmative action and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) ideology, expressed in her case by shoddy professional work, apparent plagiarism, racist policies in the name of “affirmative action,” vindictive and arbitrary administrative punishment of Harvard college members, the bureaucratic suppression of dissent, the cowed silence and self-censorship of Harvard faculty, staff, and students—and, of course, the moral obtuseness that marries intolerance for all opinion to the right of the DEI regime with complaisant defense of anti-Jewish harassment—to put it mildly—in the name of a principle of free speech never otherwise respected at Harvard.

The members of Harvard Corporation know that Claudine Gay’s continued presence in Harvard’s presidency disgraces the university. Their choice to retain her as president disgraces the Harvard Corporation.

But of course, the members of Harvard Corporation always knew that Gay was a disgrace. When Gay was appointed president, Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton University from 2001 to 2013, and member of the Harvard Corporation, stated that: “She is a brilliant scholar of political science.” She obviously was not—but no one at Harvard cared, or dared, to say so. She was appointed and promoted throughout her career at Harvard when she was obviously unqualified for any of her positions. She has covered up scandals and persecuted professors, with the complicity of the Harvard establishment. She imposed the racist policies of DEI without a peep, and her wink-and-a-nod toward calls for the genocide of Jews has the support or the acquiescence of far too much of Harvard’s leaders, administrators, faculty, and students. Gay is a DEI apparatchik raised to the highest position in Harvard, bent on subordinating all at that proud university to discrimination and persecution if only because that is all she knows how to do. And the members of the Harvard Corporation evidently appointed her to be president because they wanted a DEI apparatchik to run Harvard.

Gay is the product of the affirmative action regime, whose academic inadequacies spectacularly demonstrate how race and sex preferences mismatch students, faculty, administrators, and leaders. She also is the product of the corollary DEI regime—the repressive carapace formed to justify race and sex preferences, and to repress all criticisms of them. She is the representative of an entire class of students, faculty, administrators, and leaders, who know that they are only present in higher education because they are the beneficiaries of race and sex preferences, and therefore eagerly sacrifice all academic excellence and freedom to the pursuit of race and sex preferences—because how else can they justify their presence on America’s campuses, much less their paychecks?

Gay also is the product of the other part of the affirmative action regime—the silence, first embarrassed and then terrified, of the members of Harvard whose merit actually does justify their presence there. The silence started with an attempt at good manners—once Harvard has started to admit people because of race or sex preferences, how do you tell them this to their faces? But self-conscious courtesy became fear, as the advocates of the discrimination regime acquired the power to punish open dissent, and as they narrowed the recruitment of students, faculty, staff, and leadership ever more tightly to the true believers in discriminatory ideology.

No one at Harvard yet has dared say openly what everyone knew—that Gay is an incompetent hired on preferences, that she is a vindictive authoritarian, that she proposes discrimination and repression as Harvard dogma, and that her complaisance as far too many members of Harvard practice a dry run for Kristallnacht is a moral stain that will shame Harvard for generations. The Harvard community’s silence, its equally shameful silence, marks how Harvard has ceased be an abode of free and forthright Americans, much less of academics devoted to freedom. In their silence they exhibit the degradation of whipped slaves. Harvard must evict its would-be masters from its premises. And then its members must begin the harder, longer task of learning once again what it is to be free men.

Harvard cannot recover full health until it also has removed the entire discrimination regime that has brought Harvard to this sorry pass—along with the rest of American higher education, and far too much of the American republic. Harvard can only cure itself by removing all its DEI bureaucracy and policies, by removing the pseudo-disciplines devoted to political activism, by ensuring that its recruitment procedures for students, faculty, staff, and leadership all have been purged of DEI roadblocks—and by rededicating itself explicitly to academic freedom, instruction in the necessary and excellent accomplishments of Western civilization, civic virtue, and the welfare of the American nation.

Harvard’s restoration must start at the top. The members of Harvard Corporation closed their eyes to Claudine Gay’s obvious inadequacies, as much as did everyone else in Harvard’s administration, faculty, and student body—and now they explicitly have affirmed that they wish to serve as the henchmen of Gay’s plagiarisms, discriminations, and persecutions. The Corporation must be renewed. It should dispense with the services of members such as Tilghman, whose praise of Gay that, “She is a brilliant scholar of political science,” is culpable. The Harvard Corporation, as all of Harvard, has become very ill in the service of affirmative action and DEI, and it must heal itself.

To those members of the Harvard Corporation who have disgraced Harvard University by retaining Claudine Gay, we repeat what Leo Amery said to Neville Chamberlain in May 1940, as the results of his catastrophic errors in judgment became apparent: Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go. The only service they now can render Harvard University is to resign.

Photo by Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash

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