Harvard’s Chief Diversity Officer Faces Plagiarism Accusations

(Daily360.com) – After the embarrassment over their former president Claudine Gay, Harvard University is now facing another prominent official who looks to have serious plagiarism questions hanging over her head. The official in question is Sherri Ann Charleston, Harvard University’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, the first person to hold this title at the university. Harvard’s website describes her as a leading expert in the nation on the subject of diversity within higher education. She is credited as being a “trained historian” who focuses on gender, race, citizenship, and the law.

A recently filed complaint alleges that Charleston may have plagiarized 40 pieces of academic work. The allegations state that Charleston may have even gone so far as to directly copy large portions of material with no citations or reference points.

Looking into some of the assertions in the complaint, Charleston’s 2009 dissertation submission to the University of Michigan seems to include almost a dozen instances of paraphrasing and quoting other scholars with no attribution. Shockingly, Charleston only has one peer-reviewed journal article to her name. The article was published in 2014 and was co-authored by her husband LaVar Charleston, and it seems to be a recycling of a study he published two years prior.

Sherri Ann Charleston appears to have been taking credit for the work of others while advancing in the world of academia through race-based promotions. Prior to taking her current position at Harvard, Charleston was the chief affirmative action officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is the same school that employs her husband.

Experts who have reviewed the background of Charleston say that her alleged plagiarism and academic fraud range from minor incidents of plagiarism through complete data fraud. They believe an investigation is not only warranted but is in fact quite necessary. Aside from the plagiarism, her work seems to narrowly follow the supposition that the “weaponization of whiteness” is a critical issue in the United States.

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