WASHINGTON — The newly selected director of the United States Holocaust Museum, under fire for questionable academic conduct, has resigned two weeks before he was to take office.
Steven R. Katz sent a letter of resignation to the museum Friday, saying the "frivolous and non-meritorious allegations which have been asserted would unduly distract" from the work of the museum.
After carrying out an investigation, the museum's board said a week ago that it would stand by Katz, who was scheduled to succeed founding director Jeshajahu Weinberg on March 16.
In accepting Katz's letter of resignation, museum Chairman Miles Lerman said he was saddened and continues to hold Katz's "integrity, intellectual vision and scholarship on the Holocaust in the highest regard."
Museum spokeswoman Mary Morrison said Katz was at his home in Binghamton, N.Y., and not available for comment on his decision.
Katz became a tenured Cornell University professor in 1984. In March, 1991, the Ivy League school barred him from future study leaves because he taught at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 while on a half-year's study leave.