Claudine Gay, Harvard University president, resigns The resignation comes after new plagiarism allegations surfaced, adding to the controversy surrounding the Harvard president in recent weeks.

Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigns

Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigns

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Claudine Gay, pictured during commencement ceremonies in May, stepped down as Harvard University's president amid plagiarism accusations and criticism over her remarks at a congressional hearing in December. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Steven Senne/AP

Claudine Gay, pictured during commencement ceremonies in May, stepped down as Harvard University's president amid plagiarism accusations and criticism over her remarks at a congressional hearing in December.

Steven Senne/AP

Harvard University President Claudine Gay announced Tuesday afternoon that she will step aside, following new accusations of plagiarism. Her resignation comes just six months after she was appointed in the top job.

A letter from Gay, the university's first Black president, that was posted on Harvard's website read in part:

"It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I came to easily. Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries. But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual."

Gay's departure follows heightened scrutiny of allegations that she plagiarized parts of some of her published works and in the wake of a controversial appearance before Congress last month.

At that Dec. 5 hearing, Gay, along with the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, struggled to provide clear answers when asked about their policies in cases where students advocate genocide against Jews. Penn's president, Liz Magill, resigned after that testimony, but Harvard's highest governing board initially rejected calls that Gay be removed.

In a statement Tuesday, Harvard's governing board named Alan M. Garber, the university's provost and chief academic officer, as interim president until a new leader is chosen.

"We thank President Gay for her deep and unwavering commitment to Harvard and to the pursuit of academic excellence," said the statement from the Harvard Corporation. "While President Gay has acknowledged missteps and has taken responsibility for them, it is also true that she has shown remarkable resilience in the face of deeply personal and sustained attacks."

On July 1, Gay became the 30th president of Harvard, and the second woman to hold the position.