Remember that big drama at Harvard a few weeks back? President Claudine Gay, accused of plagiarism by some, eventually resigned under pressure. One of the loudest voices calling for her head? Billionaire hedge-funder Bill Ackman. Turns out, irony may be serving Ackman a bitter dish right now, because just days after Gay’s resignation, his wife, Neri Oxman, is facing her own plagiarism accusations.
Oxman, a renowned architect and tenured professor at MIT, is under fire for passages in her 2010 doctoral dissertation that allegedly bear striking similarities to the work of others. Business Insider’s investigation found several unattributed paragraphs appearing almost verbatim in her dissertation, seemingly lifted from sources like scientific papers and a book. This, if proven, would violate MIT’s strict academic integrity policies.
This news hits like a double whammy, considering Ackman’s relentless pursuit of Gay’s resignation over similar allegations. He even tweeted, “Students are forced to withdraw for much less.” Now, with the spotlight turned on his own family, the internet is humming with questions and accusations of hypocrisy. Did Ackman hold one standard for everyone else and another for his own wife?
Adding fuel to the fire is Oxman’s past work on ethical artificial intelligence. Ironically, one of her projects focused on detecting plagiarism in academic writing. Some see this as a glaring conflict of interest, raising doubts about her own research practices.
Oxman has acknowledged the allegations, offering an apology on social media but without directly addressing the specific claims. MIT, meanwhile, has announced an investigation, promising a thorough review of the matter.
So, where does this leave us? One thing’s for sure: the saga of plagiarism at Harvard just took a dramatic turn. Whether Oxman’s dissertation indeed crossed the line remains to be seen, but one thing’s certain: the double standard accusations against Ackman are unlikely to fade away anytime soon. This story isn’t over yet, and it promises to be a messy one, with implications reaching far beyond the hallowed halls of academia.