Leading DEI official at UCLA medical school plagiarized doctoral dissertation on diversity: report

Natalie J. Perry, Ph.D., allegedly attempted to 'mask glaring academic deficiencies'

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. | Getty Images

A leading DEI official at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), reportedly plagiarized vast portions of her 2014 doctoral dissertation about diversity, equity and inclusion programs on college campuses.

Investigative journalists Christopher F. Rufo of the Manhattan Institute and The Daily Wire's Luke Rosiak partnered to uncover that Natalie J. Perry, Ph.D. — who leads the DEI program called "Cultural North Star" at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine — appears to have lifted large paragraphs nearly verbatim from 10 other academic papers without citation, according to City Journal.

Titled "Faculty Perceptions of Diversity at a Highly Selective Research-Intensive University," Perry's dissertation at the University of Virginia "examined institutional commitment to diversity from the perspective of organizational values," according to her UCLA biography, and remains her only published work. She received her bachelor's degree in African American and African Studies at Ohio State University, and an EdM in teaching and curriculum at Harvard University.

Many of the portions Perry dissertation, apparently copied with only minor changes, were especially long, with one passage that was nearly 1,000 words and extended for pages.

Rufo and Rosiak also observed that the parts of Perry's paper that were not plagiarized are ridden with basic grammatical errors and even misspellings, prompting them to speculate that her plagiarism was intended to "mask glaring academic deficiencies."

"The positionality of the participants informed the perspective on the origins of the commission. /in response to the needs of the varios [sic] stakeholders within the university, the commission addressed issues of diversity on the faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and university level," Perry wrote in one poorly-written paragraph.

Rufo and Rosiak also noted that Perry neglected to cite even the papers she did mention in the paper, suggesting that even the citations were plagiarized from other papers.

UCLA's medical school has mandated that students learn about colonialism and liberation, which included lessons about "Indigenous womxn," "two-spirits," and "structural racism," according to The Daily Wire.

The Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month that during one lecture by a guest speaker who praised the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack against Israel, she urged students to pray to "mama Earth" and led chants of "Free, Free Palestine."

Neither Perry nor UCLA responded to The Christian Post's request for comment by publication.

"Throughout the paper, Perry copies and pastes large sections of text from other authors," Rufo tweeted. "When she has to rely on original work, she often lapses into serious errors and basic grammatical problems. The paper — of course — was about DEI at universities."

The revelation regarding Perry's plagiarism comes amid Rufo's ongoing reporting about plagiarism and academic misconduct at some of the nation's most prestigious universities.

In January, former Harvard University President Claudine Gay announced her resignation weeks after Rufo and the New York Post reported on 27 instances when Gay plagiarized or failed to properly cite other academics' work, which the leadership of Harvard allegedly attempted to cover up. The New York Post claimed the school had threatened them when they began looking into the allegations.

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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