Harvard secretly sifted through deans' emails, newspapers claim
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard University administrators secretly searched the emails of 16 deans last fall, looking for a leak to reporters about a case of cheating, two newspapers reported.
The email accounts belonged to deans on the Administrative Board, a committee addressing the cheating, The Boston Globe and The New York Times reported, citing school officials. The deans were not warned about the email access and only one was told of the search afterward.
Harvard will not comment on personnel matters or provide additional information about the board cases that were concluded during the fall term, Michael Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said in an email on Sunday. If the committee's work were compromised, Harvard College would protect the process, he said.
“Generally speaking, however, if circumstances were to arise that gave reason to believe that the Administrative Board process might have been compromised, then Harvard College would take all necessary and appropriate actions under our procedures to safeguard the integrity of that process, which is designed to protect the rights of our students to privacy and due process,” he said.
Smith's office and the Harvard general counsel's office authorized the search, the Globe reported.
Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal did not specifically address the allegations but denied any routine monitoring of emails.
“Any assertion that Harvard routinely monitors emails — for any reason — is patently false,” he said in an email.
Sharon Howell, Harvard's senior resident dean, criticized Harvard administrators and said they owed the deans an apology for failing to notify the email accountholders until after gaining access to the emails.
“They don't seem to think they've done anything wrong,” she told the Globe.
Harvard University said last month that it issued academic sanctions against about 60 students who were forced to withdraw from school for a period of time in a cheating scandal that involved the final exam in a class on Congress. The school implicated as many as 125 students in the scandal when officials first addressed the issue last year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Senate OKs fast-track trade bill sought by Obama
- Obama reaches out to Jewish community
- Senate still works on NSA proposal as deadline nears
- Cuban talks to continue
- Coal’s worst fears affirmed in analysis of Obama climate plan
- Giant hole forms near golf course
- Couple pleads not guilty in Kentucky bourbon thefts
- As oil production soars, so do pipeline leaks
- Police officials rethink approach to training
- 28 evacuated as fire hits oil platform off Louisiana coast
- D.C. mansion murder suspect had help, police say