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Harvard Chief Diversity Officer, Sherri Ann Charleston, Accused of Plagiarism

by Chelsea Betonie

According to a report, the Chief Diversity Officer of Harvard University, Sherri Ann Charleston, is facing allegations of plagiarism in a recent complaint.

The complaint states that Charleston plagiarized portions of her academic works by using text without proper quotation marks and also claimed credit for a study conducted by her husband.

Dr. Claudine Gay, the President of Harvard University, appeared before the House Education and Workforce Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC on December 05, 2023.

The purpose of this hearing was to investigate antisemitism on college campuses.

According to reports, the complaint contains evidence of 40 instances of plagiarism found throughout Charleston’s entire publication history.

An allegation from 2009 states that Charleston’s dissertation for the University of Michigan included approximately eleven instances where quotes or paraphrases from various scholars were used without proper attribution.

The complaint claims, “Parts of Charleston’s dissertation were published previously, word for word, by her advisor, Rebecca Scott, and others,” adding, “Charleston will lift whole sentences and paragraphs from other scholars’ work without quotation marks, then add a correct reference somewhere in the footnote ending the long paragraph.”

It is worth noting that one of the allegations pertains to a specific article published in 2014 by Charleston, which happens to be her only peer-reviewed publication.

Interestingly, this article was co-authored by her husband, LaVar Charleston, who holds the position of deputy vice chancellor for DEI at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The accusation against this study, which also involved co-authorship by Jerlando Jackson, is that it shares identical research methods, findings, and interview subjects with another study published solely by Lavar Charleston in 2012.

“The 2014 paper appears to be entirely counterfeit,” Peter Wood, head of the National Association of Scholars and a former associate provost at Boston University, said. “This is research fraud pure and simple.”

Recently, there have been several concerning incidents at Harvard University.

Firstly, Claudine Gay, the former president, was forced to resign due to plagiarism scandals and her failure to address antisemitism on campus following the October 7 Hamas attack against Israel.

Additionally, her testimony on antisemitism during a congressional hearing in December was deemed disastrous. Moreover, other academic issues have come to light at this prestigious Ivy League institution.

A group of top cancer researchers at Harvard has been accused of scientific fraud that has impacted 37 studies.

These researchers are alleged to have manipulated data images using simple techniques like copy-and-paste and Adobe Photoshop.

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