As the fairytale land of higher education enjoys another week of vacation, the Harvard Crimson reported some welcome news on Tuesday afternoon: embattled school president and accused plagiarist Claudine Gay plans to resign only six months after she took the role.

Gay’s ousting was a couple weeks late but clearly deserved. While she inexplicably maintained support from the university’s board, which risibly defended her, the esteemed university’s public reputation has crumbled. In addition to prior plagiarism allegations, the Washington Free Beacon reported six additional on New Year’s Day against Gay, increasing the total to nearly 50.

Being the “first black woman” to lead Harvard, Gay predictably avoided her blatant academic dishonesty and embarrassing inability to condemn antisemitism by playing the victim and focusing on claims of “personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus.”

Since academia only mimics real life, Gay will still return to her position on the faculty. The immense damage to Harvard’s institutional reputation apparently does not matter to a tenured fraud.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Harvard graduate who famously held a tense exchange with Gay and other university presidents during a December congressional hearing, rushed to Fox News to cheer the decision.

“They need to show a new direction of leadership to protect Jewish students on campus who have faced physical assault and verbal harassment,” Stefanik responded to a question about Harvard’s future and lack of contrition. “This congressional investigation is not going to stop…There are deep institutional rots in these formerly prestigious universities, whether it is their DEI offices or whether it’s the antisemitism that we see raging on college campuses. So, I think this investigation is going to uncover much, much more.”

Indeed, the upstate New York congresswoman and GOP conference chair promised more deliveries in an official statement late Tuesday.

From its staunch and regressive defense of affirmative action, appalling free speech record, and lack of ideological diversity, schools like Harvard long ago abandoned their core mission and supposed pursuit of truth.

The preponderance of major universities are massive businesses that confiscate money from gullible upper-middle-class parents in exchange for a bumper sticker, a diploma, and a chance to attend a football game on parents’ weekend. The formation of a critical mind has been replaced by the formation of a conforming mind.

There is no question that Harvard suffered immense reputational damage by protecting Gay from calls for her removal, and whether or not her resignation can salvage the school’s damaged reputation remains to be seen, as places like Harvard have rightly seen donations and applications plummet during the past few months.

But removing Gay will not solve Harvard’s moral and intellectual rot. Nor will it solve the moral and intellectual bankruptcy that plagues the vast majority of higher education institutions. The only way Harvard can be reformed is to be totally rebuilt; that can only occur by destruction, which is more likely than yesterday, but still a lofty goal.

Discarding a serial plagiarist and intellectual lightweight who excuses antisemitism should always be encouraged. But Gay did not become the president of Harvard by accident. Donors and prospective students should realize this when dreaming of days on the quad at Cambridge. You will get a better, cheaper education at the local junior college or by getting a job. That is no longer a cliche but a fact.


Ari J. Kaufman is the managing editor of the Tri-Cities Business Journal. He’s written for several newspapers, authored three books, is a frequent guest on radio programs, contributes to Israel National News, and is a featured columnist at The Lid.