Harvard President Claudine Gay Resigns: Find Her Complete Resignation Letter

After just half a year in office, Harvard President Claudine Gay has announced her resignation. The decision comes in the wake of allegations of plagiarism and a grilling by congressional lawmakers regarding antisemitism on campus.

Gay’s resignation follows that of Liz Magill from the University of Pennsylvania, who stepped down last December after testifying before Congress on the issue of antisemitism alongside Gay and Sally Kornbluth from MIT.

As the first Black president and the 30th president of Harvard, Gay began her tenure in July 2023. While she will be stepping down from her current role, Gay will continue her association with Harvard as a tenured faculty member. Taking her place as interim president will be Alan Garber, the university’s provost and chief academic officer.

The complete resignation letter can be found on the Harvard’s Office of the President website.

Dr. Claudine Gay’s Resignation Letter from Harvard

To all members of the Harvard Community,

It is with a heavy heart but with profound love for Harvard that I am writing to inform you of my decision to step down as president. This has not been an easy choice for me. In fact, it has been an extremely challenging one because I had been looking forward to collaborating with all of you in order to advance Harvard’s commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this prestigious institution throughout its history. However, after consulting with the members of the Corporation, it has become evident that it is in the best interest of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this extraordinary period of challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.

Being a part of this university, which has been my home and my source of inspiration for the majority of my professional career, is a unique honor. My profound connection to Harvard and its people has made it all the more difficult for me to witness the tensions and divisions that have plagued our community in recent months, eroding the bonds of trust and reciprocity that should serve as our sources of strength and support during turbulent times. Amidst all of this, it has been distressing to have my commitment to combatting hate and upholding academic rigor called into question—two fundamental values that are at the core of who I am—as well as to face personal attacks and threats driven by racial animosity.

I believe in the people of Harvard because in each and every one of you, I see the potential and the promise of a better future. These past few weeks have made it apparent the work that lies ahead of us in building that future—work that involves combating bias and hate in all its forms, creating an environment of learning where we treat each other with respect and compassion, and reiterating our unwavering commitment to open inquiry and free expression in the pursuit of truth. I believe that we possess within ourselves everything necessary to heal from this period of tension and division and to emerge stronger. I had fervently hoped to lead all of you on this journey, in partnership with you. As I return to the faculty now, and to the scholarship and teaching that are the lifeblood of our mission, I make a pledge to continue working alongside you in building the community that we all deserve.

When I became president, I felt extremely fortunate to be able to serve people from all corners of the globe who saw in my presidency a vision of Harvard that affirmed their sense of belonging—a sense that Harvard welcomes individuals of talent and promise from diverse backgrounds to learn from and grow with one another. To all of you, please know that these doors remain open, and Harvard will only become stronger and better because of that.

As we usher in a new year and a new semester, I hope that we can all anticipate brighter days ahead. Even as I write this message with a heavy heart, my hopes for Harvard remain unshaken. When my brief presidency is reminisced, I hope that it is seen as a moment of reawakening to the importance of striving to find our shared humanity—and not allowing bitterness and harsh criticism to undermine the essential process of education. I trust that in this time of immense challenge and controversy, we will all find ways to recommit ourselves to excellence, openness, and independence—values that are crucial to what our university represents and to our ability to serve the world.

With sincerest regards,