Congress widens Harvard investigation to include plagiarism allegations against President Gay

The Virginia Republican set a deadline of Dec. 29 for Pritzker's to respond.

Published: December 20, 2023 7:33pm

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Wednesday widened its existing investigation into Harvard's response to on-campus antisemitism to include an inquiry into allegations of plagiarism against University President Claudine Gay.

The committee launched its initial prove earlier this month in the aftermath of disastrous congressional testimony from Gay, MIT President Sally Kornbluth, and now-ex-Penn President Liz Magill in which the trio struggled to decisively condemn calls for genocide that erupted on their campuses amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Reports of Gay's alleged plagiarism emerged in the aftermath of the testimony. Now, Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-Va., is demanding the school provide documentation on the allegations, warning that failure to uphold academic integrity standards could jeopardize the school's receipt of federal funding.

In a Wednesday letter sent to Harvard board leader Penny Pritzker that Fox News obtained, Foxx questioned whether the school applied separate standards of academic integrity to its students and faculty.

"The Harvard College Honor Code, which is 'in effect for the academic community of Harvard College beginning in Fall 2015,' provides: Members of the Harvard College community commit themselves to producing academic work of integrity... Does Harvard hold its faculty and academic leadership to the same standards?" she asked.

"Our concern is that standards are not being applied consistently, resulting in different rules for different members of the academic community... If a university is willing to look the other way and not hold faculty accountable for engaging in academically dishonest behavior, it cheapens its mission and the value of its education. Students must be evaluated fairly, under known standards – and have a right to see that faculty are, too," Foxx insisted.

She further requested that the school turn over all documents and communications related to the allegations of plagiarism against Gay and the University's response. Moreover, she demanded a list of disciplinary proceedings against students and faculty related to plagiarism since 2019. The Virginia Republican set a deadline of Dec. 29 for Pritzker's to respond.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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