Harvard President Claudine Gay's fate hangs in the balance - as she is accused ... trends now
The academic, 53, survived a meeting of Harvard's board on Sunday amid calls for her removal, but her future at the Ivy league remains uncertain as billionaire Bill Ackman has launched a new wave of allegations against her.
Meanwhile over 640 faculty members at Harvard have signed a letter in support of Gay, urging the school to resist calls to fire her.
University of Pennsylvania Liz Magill is the only one of the three ivy league presidents to step down following their testimony last week - but pressure is mounting on Harvard to let go of Gay, who said calls for a 'genocide of Jews' would only constitute harassment 'depending on the context.'
On Sunday Ackman sent a letter to Harvard, his alma mater, accusing Gay of 'doing more damage to Harvard’s reputation than anyone in the university’s history.'
The billionaire demanded that the university's board of directors review Gay's history, including accusations of plagiarism, and of discriminatingly against those that don't fit the look of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
Claudine Gay's role as Harvard president hangs in a balance after her congressional testimony
Billionaire Harvard alum Bill Ackman has launched a new wave of allegations against her
Former Winthrop House faculty dean Ronald Sullivan accused Gay of dismissing him from his role because of his work on Harvey Weinstein's defense team
Ackman also mentioned the case of former Winthrop House faculty dean Ronald Sullivan, who in 2019 accused Gay of dismissing him from his role because of his work on Harvey Weinstein's defense team.
The law professor, who was the first black dean of a Harvard school, accused Gay and Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana of lying about their motives for dismissing him when they claimed it was because he fostered a toxic work environment.
'The actions were cowardly and craven and Dean Gay and Dean Khurana just consistently and repeatedly lied to the student body and they know better,' he said, according to The Harvard Crimson.
'Their problem was that I represented an unpopular person... They said it to my face and other senior members said it to my face and then they turned around and lied to the student body.'
Ackman said: 'As Dean, Gay showed no respect for basic American legal principles when she fired Harvard Law School Professor Ronald Sullivan as residential dean for taking on the legal defense of Harvey Weinstein. President Gay should hope that someday when she needs counsel, she will be able to obtain quality representation for herself.'
Harvard has denied the decision was because of Sullivan's work with Weinstein, which sparked protests on campus. Sullivan remains a law professor at Harvard.
In his letter to the Harvard board, Ackman also cited Harvard's plummeting in the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) College Free Speech Rankings since Gay took over. While the school has never been high on the list, it reached its worst-ever ranking, landing at the very last spot.
FIRE said: 'Harvard completed its downward spiral in dramatic fashion, coming in dead last with the worst score ever: 0.00 out of a possible 100.00. This earns it the notorious distinction of being the only school ranked this year with an “Abysmal” speech climate.'
Gay, a professor of Government and of African and African-American Studies, was inaugurated as Harvard's first black president back ink July. She has taken interest in DEI policies and created the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.