Goodnight, Poor Harvard!

Yesterday I got two emails from Harvard University, as I presume all other Harvard alumni also did. There’s big news: the Presidential Search Committee has announced who will become the next President of the University. It’s Claudine Gay, currently Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the largest constituent piece of the institution. She will become President on July 1, 2023, when current President Larry Bacow steps down (after only five years).

Have I heard of this person before? More on that in a bit.

But first some of the gushing praise from the official University publicity:

Claudine is a remarkable leader who is profoundly devoted to sustaining and enhancing Harvard’s academic excellence, to championing both the value and the values of higher education and research, to expanding opportunity, and to strengthening Harvard as a fount of ideas and a force for good in the world. . . . As her many admirers know, Claudine consults widely; she listens attentively; she thinks rigorously and imaginatively; she invites collaboration and resists complacency; and she acts with conviction and purpose. . . . Claudine’s own scholarship and teaching have focused on aspects of democracy—political participation, voting behavior, public opinion, and the interplay of race, ethnicity, and politics in America.

And that’s barely a tenth of it. I’m sorry I can’t give you a link to the whole thing; but then, I certainly would not recommend wasting your time reading it.

But where have I come across this name before? Somehow I remembered seeing it on Instapundit, and with a quick search there I find this brief post from April 17, 2022. The link goes to a Substack article by a guy named Chris Brunet, formerly of the Daily Caller, who has gone out on his own at Substack under the name Karlstack. Brunet apparently makes a specialty of exposing corruption in academia, and he is all over the case of Ms. Gay. His April 17, 2022 post has the title “The Curious Case of Claudine Gay.”

The subheading is “She is the common thread in the Epstein, Weinstein, Dominguez, Enos, and Fryer scandals.” That’s quite the list! Is there anything to this?

Before getting to the details of some of those, we should take note of what Gay has been mainly known for during her time in the Harvard administrative bureaucracy, and that is “racial justice initiatives.” For example, there is this article from Harvard Magazine, August 20, 2020, with the title “Claudine Gay Announces Racial-Justice Initiatives.”Brief excerpt:

Claudine Gay, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), announced a series of initiatives to address racial and ethnic equality—including faculty appointments and the addition of an associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.  “This moment offers a profound opportunity for institutional change that should not and cannot be squandered,” Gay wrote in an email to the campus community. “It is up to us to ensure that the pain expressed, problems identified, and solutions suggested set us on a path for long-term change.” On the academic side, Gay announced a reactivation of the “cluster hire” in ethnicity, indigeneity, and migration that originally launched in October 2019—part of FAS’s response to intense student interest in, and pressure for, teaching and learning in ethnic studies.

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