GLOVES OFF: Billionaire Bill Ackman Initiates Comprehensive Plagiarism Review of MIT President Kornbluth’s Academic Work and Entire Faculty

MIT President Sally Kornbluth, and Billionaire investor Bill Ackman.

Bill Ackman built a reputation as an aggressive activist investor, and as he leads a ‘crusade’ against liberal anti-Semitic university deans, he found himself also dragged into the ongoing controversy about plagiarism in academia.

The founder of investment house Pershing Square reportedly had a fresh spring in his step after his victory against the president of Harvard University, Claudine Gay, when his wife, Neri Oxman, became the target of two hit pieces on the media.

The reaction was swift: already in the midst of a high-profile effort to oust the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sally Kornbluth, Ackman is launching a plagiarism check not only of the cell biologist President but of all the school’s faculty and its board members.

Telegraph reported:

“Mr. Ackman, who is personally worth nearly $4bn, was instrumental in ousting Claudine Gay last week after a row over her handling of anti-Semitism on campus.

Ackman, who is Jewish and a Harvard donor, became a leading critic of Gay following her disastrous performance at a US senate hearing on the issue.”

Some university leaders were called to the senate to their handling of the blatant rise of anti-Semitism on campuses.

“The Harvard chief’s refusal to say that calling for the genocide of Jews would break the university’s rule book prompted a firestorm of controversy.

Ackman called on Gay and the leaders of the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who also appeared at the hearing, to resign ‘in disgrace’ after the performance.”

Elizabeth Magill, from the University of Pennsylvania, resigned last month. But Harvard’s Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth resisted.

“’He’s a very passionate person and he has very strong views and obviously, given what he’s achieved, it gives him a platform to say that’, says a source who’s familiar with the 57-year-old New Yorker.”

Harvard’s Gay ultimately resigned after a second scandal over her alleged widespread plagiarism.

That’s when the culture war waged by Ackman backfired and ended up hitting his architect/designer wife, leading him to a no-holds-barred confrontation with MIT’s president, faculty, and board.

Read more:

Billionaire Bill Ackman Calls on Harvard Board Chair Penny Pritzker to Resign Along with Entire Board

Science reported:

“Ackman has for weeks called for the firing or resignation of Kornbluth, a former Duke University provost who became president of MIT 1 year ago. His latest action, announced on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) on Friday, comes after Ackman was angered by two Business Insider exposés of his wife, Neri Oxman, an American Israeli artist and architect who earned her Ph.D. in design computation at MIT. In articles published on 4 and 5 January, Business Insider found that Oxman’s 2010 doctoral dissertation and other academic writing included multiple passages substantially lifted from other academic sources or from Wikipedia without proper attribution.”

We do not yet know whether this initiative against my wife @NeriOxman and family is led by the @MIT board, its Chairman Mark Gorenberg and/or the administration or certain member(s) of the faculty.

And to be clear, we do not know for a certainty that @MIT is behind this, but we…

— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) January 7, 2024

As you would expect in today’s America, some saw the exit of liberal black women like Harvard President Gay as a manifestation of racism, misogyny, and a ‘weaponization’ of plagiarism.

“It started with a 5 December 2023 congressional hearing on antisemitism where Gay, Kornbluth, and Elizabeth Magill, then the president of the University of Pennsylvania, gave legalistic answers as to whether they would discipline students calling for genocide against Jews on their campuses. The following groundswell of outrage from across the political spectrum included Ackman, who within hours called for their resignations. Magill resigned 4 days later. Gay, the first Black person to lead Harvard, seemed poised to withstand the backlash but resigned on 2 January after the Washington Free Beacon and other outlets surfaced multiple instances of plagiarism in her 1997 dissertation and academic publications. Soon after Gay’s resignation, Ackman appeared to set his sights on Kornbluth’s removal, writing on X: ‘Et tu Sally?’”

Many see the articles targeting Oxman as retaliation against Ackman who has been fighting DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives at universities.

Ackman married Oxman, an architect and designer who was then on the MIT faculty, in 2019. She soon left MIT and founded an eponymous design company. After Business Insider ran its first article, reporting that in four cases her dissertation lifted wordings from other academics without using quotation marks, Oxman apologized. ‘I did not place the subject language in quotation marks, which would be the proper approach for crediting the work’, she posted on X. ‘I regret and apologize for these errors’.

The second Business Insider article, which ran on 5 January, documented passages from her dissertation and other academic work she appears to have lifted from Wikipedia without attribution. It also asserts she lifted an image without crediting the source as required by a Creative Commons license. Oxman has not commented on it.”

The work of checking hundreds of thousands of research papers and other writings of nearly 1100 MIT faculty will be massive.

Gathering the full texts and running it through a plagiarism checking tool is considered ‘a vast but feasible task’.

“Kornbluth did not state at the congressional hearing that verbal calls for genocide on campus would have to cross into actual physical actions in order to be considered harassment. The MIT faculty and community have largely rallied to her defense, the school’s board of trustees has backed her, and Kornbluth released an open letter to the MIT community on 3 January that gave no indication she plans to depart anytime soon. It laid out steps she was taking to address campus conflict and tension around the Israel-Hamas war, including launching a committee on academic freedom and campus expression.”

Read more:

Billionaire Bill Ackman Calls on Harvard Board Chair Penny Pritzker to Resign Along with Entire Board

The post GLOVES OFF: Billionaire Bill Ackman Initiates Comprehensive Plagiarism Review of MIT President Kornbluth’s Academic Work and Entire Faculty appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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