Obama silent on resignation of Harvard’s Claudine Gay amid reports about his efforts to try to save her job

Former President Obama reportedly went to bat for Harvard University’s now-former president behind the scenes in an attempt to keep her in the university’s top role, but he has been silent since the resignation announcement ignited a firestorm on social media. A confidential source familiar with the matter told Jewish Insider in late December that Obama, a Harvard graduate, had privately lobbied on Claudine Gay’s behalf after her congressional appearance about antisemitism and threats against Jewish students on the Ivy League campus. “It sounded like people were being asked to close ranks to keep the broader administration stable, including its composition,” the source said of Obama’s involvement. Obama’s push to save Gay’s job was an unsuccessful one. Gay announced Tuesday that she is stepping down as the school’s president but is staying on as a member of the faculty. CRITICS CHEER RESIGNATION OF ‘ANTISEMITIC PLAGIARIST’ HARVARD PRESIDENT CLAUDINE GAY: ‘BYE FELICIA’ Fox News Digital reached out to Obama’s office multiple times for comment, but did not receive a response. “This is not a decision I came to easily,” Gay wrote in her resignation letter to the Harvard community. “Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries. But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.” Gay’s tenure as the shortest Harvard presidency in the university’s history came to a close after she testified before Congress last month and struggled to answer a direct question from New York GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik about condemning genocide against Jewish people as something that violated Harvard’s code of conduct. HARVARD MUST RID ITSELF OF ‘CULTURAL ROT’ IN WAKE OF GAY RESIGNATION, SAYS ADVOCATE FOR JEWISH STUDENTS After her congressional testimony, Gay issued an apology and the university’s board ultimately decided to stick by her despite widespread calls from donors and members of Congress for her ouster. The hearing came in response to rising antisemitism at American universities following Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel. After the testimony, Gay found herself facing dozens of plagiarism allegations first reported on by the Washington Free Beacon that included this claim: “In a 2001 article, Gay lifts nearly half a page of material verbatim from another scholar, David Canon, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin.” The total number of plagiarism allegations against Gay are near 50, or “half of Gay’s published works,” according to the Free Beacon. HARVARD MUST RID ITSELF OF ‘CULTURAL ROT’ IN WAKE OF GAY RESIGNATION, SAYS ADVOCATE FOR JEWISH STUDENTS “Elise Stefanik won,” Indiana GOP Rep. Jim Banks posted on X on Tuesday. “Barack Obama lost.” “Neither the resignation from Claudine Gay nor the statement from the Harvard Corporation included any apology for the morally bankrupt testimony,” Stefanik posted on X after Gay’s resignation. “Neither statement included any mention of their failure to protect Jewish students on campus or a pledge to combat antisemitism. As I said, this is just the beginning of a reckoning.” Fox News Digital’s Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.
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