Accusations of plagiarism are being used as a weapon in a battle over leadership and direction of elite universities. Bill Ackman, a billionaire hedge fund manager, campaigned against Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, accusing her of plagiarism and not doing enough to combat antisemitism. Business Insider also accused Ackman’s wife, Neri Oxman, of plagiarism. Ackman announced a plagiarism review of M.I.T. faculty and the president. Mr. Ackman and Dr. Oxman declined to comment beyond their initial responses. Plagiarism consultant Jonathan Bailey expressed concerns about the weaponization of plagiarism. Other experts also warned against the weaponization of plagiarism in disputes. The first article accusing Dr. Oxman of plagiarism came after accusations against Dr. Gay and Mr. Ackman played a large role in discrediting Dr. Gay. Business Insider accused Dr. Oxman of plagiarizing “multiple paragraphs” of her doctoral dissertation, and she apologized for the errors. Dr. Oxman was previously portrayed in The New York Times as a brilliant and quirky scholar who calls her discipline material ecology. And she was married to Mr. Ackman in 2019.
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