Gay’s Ouster May Prove a Pyrrhic Victory

I feel for Claudine Gay. A forced resignation after a brief tenure and under challenging circumstances isn’t something we should wish on anyone. But on an organizational and cultural level, it’s easy to overestimate the significance of Ms. Gay’s resignation.

She began her Harvard presidency in July 2023. Holding her responsible for her response to the outbreak of antisemitism since October is appropriate. But it seems unlikely that the issues plaguing Harvard resulted from a president who had been in office for only a few months. Harvard’s culture was formed long before Ms. Gay became president. Her resignation probably won’t change it much, as evidenced by reactions from Harvard faculty members who see her departure as capitulation to political pressure.

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