By Theresa Defino
Congressional Committee Takes on Harvard Plagiarism Inquiry
The House Education and the Workforce Committee has launched its own investigation into allegations of plagiarism by now-former Harvard University President Claudine Gay, who stepped down Jan. 2. Plagiarism and other instances of research misconduct such as fabrication and falsification are generally investigated by institutions and federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General and the HHS Office of Research Integrity. In a letter to Harvard sent last month, chairwoman Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said her committee is reviewing Harvard’s “handling of credible allegations of plagiarism” against Gay spanning her 24-year history with the university.
Foxx is seeking a host of documents, including those connected with “the initial allegations of plagiarism” and Harvard’s review of Gay’s scholarship; “all meeting minutes, transcripts, notes, coordinating communications, memoranda, or other materials relating to any discussion of this issue by the Harvard Corporation and Board of Overseers” were requested. Foxx also asked for “documents and communications concerning allegations of plagiarism” against Gay and “a list of any disciplinary actions taken against Harvard faculty or students on the basis of academic integrity violations, research misconduct, inadequate citation, or other forms of plagiarism, from January 1, 2019, to present. This list should include an anonymized description of the subject of discipline, the date of the alleged misconduct, dates of any adjudicatory or disciplinary meetings, whether any outside counsel or supportive individual was permitted (and whether such an individual was present), and any disciplinary action imposed.” The documents were due to Foxx by Dec. 29.