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The Fallout From a Resignation at Harvard

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Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, resigned on Tuesday after criticism of her response to antisemitism and allegations of plagiarism.Credit…Ken Cedeno/Reuters

To the Editor:

Re “Gay Resigns After Charges of Plagiarism” (front page, Jan. 3):

I’m saddened by the news of Claudine Gay’s resignation as president of Harvard. Saddened not because I have any sympathy for her as a result of her terrible congressional testimony or the plagiarism accusations leveled against her. I don’t.

I’m saddened because her resignation is a stark reminder of how treacherous public life can be and how many talented and capable people are discouraged from seeking careers in public service or other highly visible positions because of the divisiveness permeating our society.

Just consider how many elected officials are voluntarily choosing not to return to Congress. And it explains in small part why no one with any real promise is challenging Donald Trump or Joe Biden as the likely nominees for the presidency. What we are headed for as Claudine Gay resigns is uniform mediocrity.

Peter C. Alkalay
Scarsdale, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Harvard has handed the culture warriors a huge win. Representative Elise Stefanik, who recently grilled Claudine Gay at a hearing and relished the resignation of another university president in the days that followed, now has the campaign ads of her dreams. And those on the other end of the spectrum who see this as an attack on a powerful Black woman have a new call to battle.

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