CAMBRIDGE – The shortest tenure of a Harvard president has come to an end. His resignation follows an investigation in December Premises and theft charges.
In a statement, Kay said, “It has become clear that it is in Harvard's best interests that I resign so that the community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge in a way that focuses on the institution rather than the individual.”
“He said in his statement that it was the right thing for the university to move forward, and he might be right,” Harvard student Christian Carson said.
He became the first black president in the history of the gay school, taking office six months ago.
“It would be nice to have someone similar [ethnicity] To represent,” said Harvard student Afomia Hande.
“His tenure as president of Harvard was an important and historic one, and I am saddened that he felt the need to step down,” said Harvard Extension student Kimberly Thomas.
Gay came under fire in early December for his handling of anti-Semitism on campus. There was a backlash from the war between Israel and Hamas. Specifically, at a congressional hearing, she was asked how the school responded.
“He refused to swear 17 times to exterminate the Jewish people,” said Shabbos Kestenbaum, another Harvard student. “I hope this will be a moment of unity to come together and openly declare that hate and oppression of all kinds will not be tolerated in any higher education.”
Even after Congress convened, professors remained overwhelmingly supportive of the president.
“I think the support was there until today,” said Harvard government professor Ryan Enos, adding that the pressure was difficult for Kay to lead. “I feel bad for Harvard and higher education. It's under attack by the Harvard mob. We need to be aware of this.”
In recent weeks, he has been accused of plagiarism in his 1997 dissertation. This identified instances of insufficient citation and prompted the school board to review the work.
“A lot of us are concerned about these allegations of plagiarism, and we should be, but we haven't even had a chance to discuss it,” Enos said. “Instead, she was taken down by a mob.”
Now the school will transition to interim president Alan Garber while the school searches for the next president.
“Carber is stepping into a very difficult position, but he is a capable leader,” Enos said.