Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard University, resigned from her position on Tuesday after just six months in the role. Gay has recently come under sharp public scrutiny over her handling of antisemitism on campus since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, as well as accusations of plagiarism in some of her past academic writings. She announced her decision to resign in a letter addressed to the Harvard community.

“It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president,” Gay wrote in the letter. “This is not a decision I came to easily. Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries.”

But she said that after consultation with members of the Harvard Corporation — the university’s leading governing board — “it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”

Gay faced widespread criticism in recent months for her congressional testimony on how Harvard has responded to rising antisemitism since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel sparked protests, with impacts seen especially on college campuses in the United States. Republicans, including GOP conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, called for her resignation even as members of the Harvard faculty continued to offer support. Gay later faced allegations of plagiarism, which the school said it was looking into.

In a separate statement, the Harvard Corporation acknowledged, “These past several months have seen Harvard and higher education face a series of sustained and unprecedented challenges.”

Continue reading