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PJMcK's Journal
PJMcK's Journal
January 2, 2024

This story seems more complicated than at first glance

Dr. Gay's resume was quite thin for the presidency of one of the world's top universities. She published less than a dozen peer-reviewed papers in over 25 years, she never authored a book and she didn't make any important contributions to her field of political science. In academia, these are important mileposts in one's career. In addition, there are numerous questions of the provenance in her writings with charges of plagiarism being indicated.

Two reasonable questions are suggested: Why was she offered the job? Why did she pursue it?

The second is easier to answer because to reach the apex of academia in her early 50s is an ascension of meteoric speed. The public exposure is world-wide, the money is astronomic and the influence is a mile deep and ten miles wide. Who wouldn't grab the opportunity?! Yet there are obvious dangers and pot holes on that highway and Dr. Gay is experiencing them now.

Harvard is the richest university in the world with an endowment of about $50 billion. The job of its president is multi-faceted and includes business and academic administration, fund raising, chief cheer leader for the institution and more. Did the university's board think Dr. Gay would be effective at those tasks? What was in her past that suggested she had those diverse skills? So the first question is why did they offer her the job? When compared to her predecessors' resumes and professional experiences, Dr. Gay doesn't have the same level of accomplishment. For examples, here is a link to the university's website page about the history of its presidents:


The questions about possible plagiarism are recent and their revelations are somewhat suspect. But they raise the question of why didn't the university vet her work more closely? Or are they trying to cover their asses? Are there other issues involved that the cowards won't speak of?

I don't know the truth, of course. Personally, I think Dr. Gay has been sucker punched and I expect Harvard will try to tar her to try to justify their current and past behavior. I agree with you, malaise, that she should have declined the job. First, it was probably over-reach for her at that time in her career. Second, the university's motives have always been suspect.

It's all pathetic and despicable. And predictable.

Profile Information

Name: Paul McKibbins
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York City
Home country: USA
Current location: Catskill Mountains
Member since: Mon Jun 5, 2006, 05:16 PM
Number of posts: 22,025

About PJMcK

Lifelong Democrat
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