Faculty Furious After Harvard Snoops in Email Accounts

Administrators sought source of leak on cheating

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff | Suggested by pg13

Posted Mar 11, 2013 11:11 AM CDT | Updated Mar 11, 2013 2:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Harvard faculty members are fuming over word that the university quietly searched 16 resident deans' email accounts following a cheating scandal. Administrators were investigating how an internal memo responding to the scandal was leaked to the media, the New York Times reports. "People are just bewildered at this point, because it was so out of keeping with the way we’ve done things at Harvard," says Harry Lewis, a professor and former dean.

Just one of the deans was told of the search soon after it occurred; the other 15 weren't told until the Boston Globe looked into the issue. "Why not tell them what was being done if it was really an OK thing to do?" Lewis asks. Harvard released a detailed statement today, saying it made a "very narrow, careful, and precise subject-line search," and that they didn't read the contents of anyone's mail. They say they didn't tell anyone because they determined the leak was unintentional, and wanted to protect the leaker's privacy.

People are led on a tour group at the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.
People are led on a tour group at the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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