Come for the destruction of DEI, stay for academia's collapse
I come to praise Claudine Gay, not condemn her. The now ex-president of Harvard did our nation a great service by being smug and arrogant at a congressional hearing. Her hubris revealed what a farce DEI is as Harvard overlooked qualified candidates and chose her simply because she is a black lady.
This is Bidenism. He chose his vice president and a Supreme Court justice the same way. The latter told Congress she could not define what a woman is. The former’s speeches make her sound like a 10 year old explaining the world to a 7 year old.
(A 10 year old is a person who has lived for 10 years.)
But wait. There’s more Bidenism. He plagiarizes everything, including his biography. Gay plagiarizes too! How do you think a dummy like her got a PhD? Her doctoral dissertation in 1997 from Harvard turned out to steal the work of others in violation of Harvard’s rules.
Her ability to become the top scholar in America — and presiding over Harvard is the cherry atop the Ivy League whipped cream that covers the higher education dessert — raises the question of whether this treat is worth having. Maybe America needs more meat and potatoes.
America has 1 million active medical doctors. They are useful and I would not be surprised if half the 6,020 doctors in West Virginia are foreign born.
America has 3 times as many people with doctorate degrees. I am not saying they are useless. I just would feel better if we had 3 million medical doctors and a million PhDs.
Every one of those PhDs wrote a doctoral dissertation and many of them have written research papers since then and even books. It would be a shame if some used artificial intelligence devices to check to see if those committee approved theses were cut-and-pasted, wouldn’t it?
Spoiler alert: Somebody is.
This all began on October 7 when Palestinian soldiers invaded Israel and raped, tortured, murdered and mutilated more than a thousand Israelis and kidnapped 240 more, including babies.
The next day — before Israel even had a chance to respond — Harvard students and faculty condemned Israel. Similar craziness happened at Penn and MIT. The lady presidents of those institutions ignored the support of Palestinian war crimes. Two months later, Congress hauled them in to find out what the devil is going on.
The Three Stoogettes sat there smirking. Free speech protects saying kill all the Jews. It depends on the context. It is hate speech only if you say kill all the Jews but you use the wrong pronoun.
The uproar cost Liz Magill her job at Penn and Harvard later forced Gay out. Both will continue to receive their outlandish pay as law professors. Only MIT’s Sally Kornbluth remains.
What did Gay in was her plagiarism and not her anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitism started the snowball rolling down the hill toward her. Billionaire Bill Ackman, a practicing Jew married to an Israeli, began the campaign to get donors to quit Harvard. Money talks and it is louder than the liberal media.
But her plagiarism of Carol Swain at Vanderbilt and others did her in.
The New Yorker reported, “Rumors about Gay’s record had been circulating among conservative bloggers for months, but, as the national spotlight turned toward Harvard, media outlets such as the New York Post began investigating. In early December, the activist Christopher Rufo published allegations about Gay in his newsletter, including instances of missing citations and verbatim copying of other scholars’ writing without the use of quotation marks or attribution. In the following weeks, more apparent instances of plagiarism piled up. Gay has admitted to making errors, such as duplicating ‘other scholars’ language, without proper attribution,’ but she has denied claiming credit for other people’s research, and has said that she stands by her work.
“In any case, on January 2nd, she stepped down from her role, saying that doing so was ‘in the best interests of Harvard’ and that it had been ‘distressing to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor.’ (She will remain on the school’s faculty.)”
Gay was hired because of her resume — or CV as they call it now. She’s black, female and a graduate of Exeter. That was all the search committee was looking for.
And now her appointment bites academics back and not just in donations. Harvard has $50 billion in its endowment portfolio. But while the money does not matter, the plagiarism does because it reveals that doctoral programs are not as legitimate as the universities say they are.
Having watched Magill leave and having forced the outing of Gay, Ackman turned his attention to MIT’s Kornbluth. She is fighting back.
Business Insider and MIT (which is hanging on to its woman president for dear life) went after Ackman’s wife, who has a PhD that they claim was plagiarized. She said it was a few unattributed paragraphs in a 330-page thesis.
Robert Sterling, a CFO and investor, tweeted, “Going after’s wife is one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever seen. MIT and Business Insider don’t understand the force of nature that’s about to come after them.
“This guy literally beat out Brad Pitt competing for his wife. While you were losing sleep over not having toilet paper during Covid, he was making $2.6 billion shorting the entire economy. The dude is just built different.
“Ackman is righteously pissed off. He’s motivated. He’s rich af, and he’s got some of the best research analysts in the world working for him (I worked in military intelligence, and DOD/IC analysts don’t come close to Wall Street short-sellers when it comes to autistically meticulous research).
“You think Gen Z clickbait journalists and MIT deans more comfortable in chemistry labs than in tense board-room proxy fights are ready for a guy like this once he gets on the war path? Yeah, right.”
Autistically meticulous! Is it OK if I enjoyed the phrase?
On Saturday, Ackman tweeted his plan: “Yesterday evening, shortly after I posted that we were launching a plagiarism review of all current MIT faculty, President Kornbluth, members of MIT’s administration, and its board, I am sure that an audible collective gasp could be heard around the campus.
“Why? Well, every faculty member knows that once their work is targeted by AI, they will be outed. No body of written work in academia can survive the power of AI searching for missing quotation marks, failures to paraphrase appropriately, and/or the failure to properly credit the work of others.
“But it wasn’t just the MIT faculty that did not sleep last night. The Harvard faculty, its governing board members, and its administrative leadership did not sleep either. Because why would we stop at MIT?
“Don’t we have to do a deep dive into academic integrity at Harvard as well?
“What about Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Penn, Dartmouth? You get the point.”
He went on and on but readers get the drift.
It is called two can play this game. They went after his wife, he goes after them. If they want to be Palestinians, fine, he will be the IDF with AI as his Mossad.
This also raises the question of whether we really need all these PhDs. Each one has a thesis out there in the pile of 3 million dissertations. Are there really 3 million papers as worthy as Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity?
OK, that bar is a tad high. Let’s lower it to Colonel Sanders’ 11 Herbs and Spices, which like Three Stooges shorts is just as delicious today as it was when it was new.
In Gay’s case, Harvard lowered the bar to “Taking Charge: Black Electoral Success and the Redefinition of American Policies.” She could not pull that off.
11 days after Christopher Rufo broke the story on Gay’s academic mooching, National Review reported Harvard’s investigation was as useless as the FBI’s investigation of Hunter’s laptop.
NR reported, “Harvard and its president Claudine Gay are doing damage control amid an ongoing plagiarism scandal, with the embattled leader requesting even more corrections to her past work, this time her 1997 Ph.D. dissertation — the foundation of her academic career.
“But the total of seven corrections requested so far still leaves dozens of other instances of potential plagiarism unresolved. And scholars who believe their work was plagiarized have told National Review that they were never contacted by Harvard as part of its investigation into Gay’s academic work.
“For instance, it does not appear that any of the corrections will address portions of Gay’s doctoral dissertation drawing heavily from the work of Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain, in some cases reproducing her writing word for word without citation.
“Swain — who has been outspoken about her feelings on the plagiarism scandal — told National Review that she is concerned by Harvard’s response to the revelations of its president’s academic-integrity issues. She feels that the university should have reached out to her and the other scholars both as a professional courtesy, to inform them their work may have been plagiarized, and as part of their fact-finding effort to determine the extent of Gay’s transgressions, since they’re the foremost experts on their own work.”
The coverup failed and 12 days after that story appeared, Gay resigned. She blamed racism in a column she wrote for the New York Times.
Harvard’s woes go further back then Gay. It hired Liz Warren to be on its token pole of law professors without bothering to verify that she was an American Indian. She’s not.
In August, Business Insider reported on another scandal, “Harvard professor Francesca Gino was accused of faking data. Now her million-dollar empire is crumbling — and scholars are eyeing who's next.”
Simine Vazire, a professor of psychology, ethics, and well-being at the University of Melbourne, gave this assessment of Gino’s work: “I didn’t think it was fraud, but I thought it was bullshit.”
Nearly three years ago, on April 13, 2021, the Harvard Crimson reported, “Over 40 percent of respondents to The Crimson’s survey of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences said they believe the University’s standing within higher education has fallen during the past decade.
“In addition, nearly 70 percent of faculty respondents said that grade inflation is a prevalent issue within their departments, with 34 percent strongly agreeing.”
Gay wasn’t the problem; she was the symptom. Smug and arrogant is no way to go through life.