Harvard Dealing With Another Plagiarism Scandal, Chief Diversity Offer In Hot Water

The Harvard University plagiarism scandal reopened this week after an anonymous complaint to the university Monday that the Ivy League school’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Sherri Ann Charleston has allegedly plagiarized more of her work than former Harvard President Claudine Gay, who stepped down from her job on Jan. 2 amid another plagiarism scandal.

“Parts of Charleston’s dissertation were published previously, word for word, by her advisor, Rebecca Scott, and others,” reads the complaint. “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.”

The Washington Free Beacon obtained and analyzed a copy of the complaint Monday, which makes 40 allegations of plagiarism against Charleston, covering the entirety of what the Beacon calls a “thin publication record.”

In her 2009 University of Michigan doctoral dissertation, for example, Charleston allegedly quoted or paraphrased nearly a dozen other scholars without giving them proper attribution.

Meanwhile, in her only published peer-reviewed journal paper, which she co-authored with her husband, LaVar Charleston, the Harvard diversity officer, and her husband allegedly reused large portions of a 2012 study LaVar already published in the earlier paper and passed off her husband’s old work as new research.

The two papers published identical interview answers, so it seems that the Charlestons did not conduct new interview research for the 2014 study, but instead reheated Mr. Charleston’s old interviews from 2012 for the 2014 paper. College research experts say this is a massive breach of ethics.

After reviewing the 2012 and 2014 papers side-by-side, Steve McQuire, a former political theory professor at Villanova University said, “Sherri Charleston appears to have used somebody else’s research without proper attribution.”

“The 2014 paper appears to be entirely counterfeit,” National Association of Scholars president Peter Wood, a former associate provost at Boston University who oversaw several academic ethics probes. “This is research fraud pure and simple.”

After refusing in December to say whether calling for the genocide of Israelis constitutes a violation of the student code of conduct at Harvard, several previously plagiarized works came back to haunt former President Claudine Gay and eventually forced her to resign.