You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce wants more information from Harvard University about how officials responded to allegations that its president, Claudine Gay, plagiarized parts of four academic papers, including her dissertation.

The Harvard Corporation, which first received word about the allegations in October, independently reviewed the president’s work and found that there was no violation of Harvard’s standards. Gay did submit corrections for two previously published articles, and Wednesday night the university acknowledged that it had found three additional "examples of duplicative language without appropriate attribution" in the president's 1997 dissertation, The Boston Globe reported.

Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the committee, requested numerous documents and emails concerning the allegations in a letter sent Wednesday to the Harvard Corporation, the board that oversees the university. She questioned whether the university was applying its policies consistently.

Foxx added that the university is obligated to investigate each claim of plagiarism with “the seriousness with which it investigates allegations against students.” She went on to threaten the university’s access to federal funds, noting that it must adhere to the standards of a recognized accreditor in order to receive those dollars. Those standards include provisions focused on academic integrity and preventing plagiarism.

“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,” she wrote. 

The allegations against Gay surfaced as she was dealing with the fallout from her recent testimony at a House hearing on campus antisemitism. The corporation has publicly backed Gay in the face of calls for her to resign.

This committee is already investigating how Harvard has responded to incidents of antisemitism. The House rules give the committee power to conduct oversight over all postsecondary education programs, according to the letter.

“An allegation of plagiarism by a top school official at any university would be reason for concern, but Harvard is not just any university,” Foxx wrote. “It styles itself as one of the top educational institutions in the country.”

Foxx requested Harvard's response by Dec. 29.