ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Israeli wife of billionaire who pushed to oust Harvard president accused of plagiarism

Neri Oxman, partner of Bill Ackman, acknowledges and apologizes for several attribution errors in her dissertation; faces fresh claims she also copied from Wikipedia

Neri Oxman, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT, speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on September 18, 2017 in New York City. (Riccardo Savi/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP)
Neri Oxman, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT, speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on September 18, 2017 in New York City. (Riccardo Savi/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP)

Israeli-born designer and academic Prof. Neri Oxman, the wife of billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, has apologized for several errors in her 2010 dissertation, after Business Insider alleged it contained a number of instances of plagiarism.

Earlier this week, Business Insider reported Oxman had “plagiarized multiple paragraphs of her 2010 doctoral dissertation.”

Ackman was a leading figure in the campaign to oust Harvard president Claudine Gay, citing both her failure to tackle antisemitism on campus and the accusations of plagiarism against her. He said the allegations against his wife were part of “attacks on his family” due to his “actions to address problems in higher education.”

Oxman wrote on X Thursday that in four cases in the 330-page work, though she did cite the sources for her text in the paragraph, she “did not place the subject language in quotation marks, which would be the proper approach for crediting the work.”

She also acknowledged that in one other case, she paraphrased the work of another writer without proper attribution, while noting she had acknowledged him and clearly quoted him in multiple instances throughout the work.

“I regret and apologize for these errors,” she wrote.

Bill Ackman attends the Hamptons International Film Festival on August 6, 2016 in East Hampton, New York (Matthew Eisman/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP)

After she made her statement, Business Insider on Saturday published further allegations, saying the dissertation contained at least 15 passages it claimed had been lifted straight from Wikipedia, without quotations or attribution. Oxman had not yet responded as of Saturday evening.

Gay resigned earlier this week amid plagiarism accusations and criticism over testimony at a US congressional hearing where she was unable to say unequivocally that calls on campus for the genocide of Jews would violate the school’s conduct policy.

Following the hearing, Gay’s academic career came under intense scrutiny by activists who unearthed several instances of alleged plagiarism in her 1997 doctoral dissertation.

Oxman was previously caught up in controversy in 2019, when it was revealed that convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein gifted some $125,000 to Oxman’s Mediated Matter research group at MIT’s prestigious Media Lab.

Oxman said then she had been told at the time that Epstein was an approved donor, and said she regretted accepting the funds.

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