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Harvard Punts Away Its Integrity

One of our favorite reads is the Political Forum Institute’s Morning Call.

They are even more irreverent than we are. Their take on the cowardly lions on the Harvard board and the indelible damage they have done to the reputation of this once-exalted university in the name of diversity and “equity” nails the whole sordid affair better than we could. We reproduced their analysis of what happened:

The Washington Free Beacon broke Harvard President Claudine Gay’s plagiarism story wide open. They “worked with nearly a dozen scholars to analyze 29 potential cases of plagiarism. Most of them said that Gay had violated a core principle of academic integrity as well as Harvard’s own anti-plagiarism policies, which state that ‘it’s not enough to change a few words here and there,'” precisely the writing method Gay used in at least 4 of her 11 career papers.

Morning Call wrote:

Harvard’s board voted… to retain Gay as the university’s president. Its members did so, presumably, for a variety of reasons, the most important and likely of which is that they weren’t going to let ‘those people’ – i.e. the rubes, hillbillies, and other deplorables – take her scalp as they did Penn’s Liz Magill’s. Well…good for them, we suppose. They stuck it to the…whomever. 

Harvard’s board has put itself and the university in the position of appearing, at the very least, to protect an intellectual fraud specifically to poke their collective finger in their critics’ collective eye…

All it would have taken to avoid this mess is a few quotation marks here and a handful of indented paragraphs there.  And it’s not like Gay had to worry about her readers tuning out.  We can almost guarantee you that no one ever read anything she wrote – least of all her dissertation – unless they had to.  Getting readers to “tune in” was her bigger challenge.  Nevertheless, she placed posturing and personal convenience over intellectual integrity.  She is, in short, contemporary American academia personified.

Postscript: The New York Post has a story out that Harvard knew of Gay’s plagiarism and covered it up. This is what happens when identity politics trumps competence and professionalism.

The Harvard story became more sordid last night when the New York Post reported that the university had engaged in a coverup, which included having its lawyers threatening The Post over the story.

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