Bill Ackman claims he has ‘good reason to believe’ MIT behind plagiarism allegations against his wife

Bill Ackman says he has “good reason to believe” plagiarism allegations against his wife, former tenured Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Neri Oxman, came from an inside source at the esteemed university.

Business Insider expanded its investigation into Oxman’s 2010 MIT doctoral dissertation on Friday, finding that aside from the four paragraphs of improperly-cited information it pointed to in its initial probe, there were some 28 other alleged instances where the academic copy-pasted passages — at least 15 of which were ripped from Wikipedia entries.

Ackman — whose been on a public crusade against MIT, demanding that it fire its president over on-campus antisemitism — responded to the fresh allegations with a post to X on Saturday claiming: “We have new information that strongly suggests that the Business Insider source(s) is at @MIT.”

Though the billionaire hedge fund manager remained vague about this “new information,” he later clarified: “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.”

Following Business Insider’s fresh allegations that Neri Oxman plagiarized at least 28 additional passages in her 2010 MIT doctoral dissertation, her husband Bill Ackman said he has “good reason to believe” insiders at MIT are behind the investigation. Getty Images

The Post has also sought comment from MIT, Ackman and Oxman at her latest venture, a biology and materials engineering firm called OXMAN.

Oxman has yet to publicly respond to Insider’s fresh plagiarism allegations against her 330-page MIT PhD dissertation, which the outlet says includes passages “virtually identical” to passages on a variety of at least 15 Wikipedia pages.

Insider pointed to one example of plagiarism on page 81 of Oxman’s dissertation titled “Material-based Design Computation, published in 2010, where she included two sentences without attribution that had previously appeared on Wikipedia.

Oxman wrote: “Both warp and weft can be visible in the final product. By spacing the warp more closely, it can completely cover the weft that binds it, giving a warp faced textile. Conversely, if the warp is spread out, the weft can slide down and completely cover the warp, giving a weft faced textile, such as a tapestry or a Kilim rug.”

Meanwhile, the Wikipedia page for “Weaving” states: “Both warp and weft can be visible in the final product. By spacing the warp more closely, it can completely cover the weft that binds it, giving a warpfaced textile … Conversely, if the warp is spread out, the weft can slide down and completely cover the warp, giving a weftfaced textile, such as a tapestry or a Kilim rug.”

Without the citation, the passage falls under MIT’s definition of plagiarism, which the university says in its handbook is punishable by “suspension or expulsion from the Institute.”

Oxman didn’t just lift text, according to Insider. She also ripped an illustration from the Wikipedia article for “Heat flux” without citing a source.

Just one day earlier, Oxman had apologized for improperly citing four paragraphs in her dissertation following publication of Insider’s initial probe.

Oxman had already apologized for not properly citing four paragraphs in her 330-page dissertation on Thursday. Ackman lauded her as “human” following the admission. Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

“I regret and apologize for these errors,” the 47-year-old Israel-born academic wrote Thursday, adding that she plans to “request that MIT make any necessary corrections.”

Shortly thereafter, Ackman lauded his wife as “human” for her admittance, which came after ripping ex-Harvard president Claudine Gay over similar accusations that she had committed plagiarism in her own academic work.

Last week, after it was revealed that Gay would no longer be Harvard’s president but would remain part of the Ivy League’s faculty and keep her nearly $900,000 salary, Ackman said on X that Gay should leave Harvard altogether due to “serious plagiarism issues.”

“Students are forced to withdraw for much less,” Ackman wrote. “Rewarding her with a highly paid faculty position sets a very bad precedent for academic integrity at Harvard.”

The billionaire hedge fund manager’s crusade against Gay began shortly after Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7 — when 30-plus Harvard student groups co-signed a letter that held Israel “entirely responsible” for the terrorist group’s mass slaughter — and heightened after a disastrous congressional testimony about antisemitic protests on campuses.

Ackman has demanded that MIT fire its president, Dr. Sally Kornbluth for, in his opinion, not doing enough to end antisemitism on campus. REUTERS

Dr. Sally Kornnbluth, MIT’s president, was also in attendance for the congressional testimony on Dec. 5, 2023, in Washington, DC, where she was accused of implying “calls for genocide of Jews may not constitute bullying and harassment under MIT’s code of conduct, depending on context.”

Ackman — one of the loudest adversaries of the university presidents that, in his view, have not done enough to stamp out campus antisemitism — has since called for Kornnbluth to be fired.

“Let’s make a deal. If you promptly terminate President [Sally] Kornbluth, I promise I won’t write you a letter,” Ackman wrote to X last month.

While the Israeli-born Oxman has not weighed in on the controversy over antisemitism at MIT — where she served as a tenured professor from 2017 to 2021 — she has posted links on her X account to pro-Israel messages as well as video testimonials of alleged sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women on Oct. 7.

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