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Harvard’s Chief Diversity Officer Faces 40 Plagiarism Allegations Amid Claudine Gay Scandal

Harvard University’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Sherri Ann Charleston, is facing a barrage of plagiarism allegations related to her academic work, including an accusation that she failed to appropriately cite her husband’s study.

This development follows a recent plagiarism scandal involving Harvard University President Claudine Gay.

Plagiarism Allegations Against Sherri Ann Charleston

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An anonymous complaint, received by Harvard on Monday, details at least 40 instances of alleged plagiarism by Sherri Ann Charleston, dating back to 2009, a decade before she joined the university, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

Failure to Cite Scholars and Misattributions

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The allegations encompass instances where Charleston allegedly failed to provide proper citations for other scholars’ work, omitting proper references in footnotes.

Paraphrased 12 Scholars

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Among the allegations is the claim that she quoted or paraphrased twelve scholars without adequate attribution in her 2009 dissertation at the University of Michigan.

Failure to Cite Her Husband’s Study

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The complaint also contends that Charleston did not properly cite a study authored by her husband, LaVar Charleston, in 2009. LaVar Charleston currently serves as the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion.

Reusing Husband’s Work

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Furthermore, it is alleged that Charleston reused significant portions of her husband’s paper in a peer-reviewed article they co-authored in 2014.

The complaint states that this 2014 article, published in the Journal of Negro Education, presented the same findings, method, and survey subject descriptions as Charleston’s husband’s original paper.

Filing of Complaint

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The complaint was not only submitted to Harvard but also to the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sherri Ann Charleston’s Career

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Sherri Ann Charleston, a historian by profession, assumed the role of Harvard’s first Chief Diversity Officer in late 2020, following a similar role at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Claudine Gay’s Plagiarism Scandal

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These new allegations come on the heels of a series of claims against Harvard-affiliated researchers or employees, primarily in the aftermath of Harvard University President Claudine Gay’s resignation from her position.

Gay Faced 50 Accusations

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Gay faced approximately 50 accusations of plagiarism or insufficient citation, which led to an investigation into her academic record.

Investigation and Corrections

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After initially denying the claims, Harvard University initiated an investigation into Gay’s academic career. Subsequently, experts determined that multiple corrections were needed in her academic record. In December, Gay had to rectify her own dissertation.

Research Papers Retraction at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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Earlier this month, a Harvard University-affiliated teaching hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, disclosed its intention to retract or amend numerous research papers authored by four of its leading researchers due to allegations of data falsification following an inquiry.

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