Harvard condemns "attacks" against president as she steps down
Why it matters: The Harvard Corporation said Gay, a political scientist and the school's first Black president, has received "repugnant and in some cases racist vitriol directed at her through disgraceful emails and phone calls."
- Gay resigned as she was facing a Republican-led U.S. House committee investigation into plagiarism allegations against her and after she participated in a disastrous congressional hearing last month on rising incidents of antisemitism on college campuses.
- During the hearing, she and other presidents of top universities said calling for the genocide of Jews wouldn't outright violate the schools' codes of conduct.
- Their testimonies were criticized by the White House and lawmakers from both parties.
What they're saying: The board on Tuesday thanked Gay for her work, particularly for leading the school through the COVID-19 pandemic and for pursuing new academic initiatives in quantum science and inequality.
- The board said the past months "have seen Harvard and higher education face a series of sustained and unprecedented challenges" and that it accepted Gay's resignation "with sorrow"
- "While President Gay has acknowledged missteps and has taken responsibility for them, it is also true that she has shown remarkable resilience in the face of deeply personal and sustained attacks."
- "We condemn such attacks in the strongest possible terms," it added.
The big picture: With her resignation, Gay will have the shortest tenure in the Harvard's history.
- Harvard's provost and chief academic officer, Alan M. Garber, will serve as interim president.
- Liz Magill, the former president of the University of Pennsylvania who also gave testimony during the antisemitism hearing, also resigned in early December.