Harvard allegedly snooped through deans’ emails for cheating scandal media leak

Harvard University administrators searched deans' email for cheating scandal media leak. (hatwoman/Flickr)
Harvard University administrators searched deans’ email for cheating scandal media leak. (hatwoman/Flickr)

Administrators at Harvard University secretly searched the email accounts of resident deans last fall to find out who told the media about the school’s cheating scandal, according to a report by the Boston Globe.

In September, 125 students were allegedly suspected of sharing exam answers and wrongfully working together on essays.

According to the Globe, 16 deans were not told ahead of time that administrators were planning to check their emails, and only one dean was informed afterwards that his email had been searched.

The university has a right to peep at deans’ emails because they are not teaching staff, according to the report, however that will not necessarily deter them from becoming angry at the school for failing to notify them of the searches.

According to Harry Lewis, a computer scientist and former dean of the college who helped draft its current email privacy policy for faculty: “If reading the deans’ email is really OK by the book, why didn’t they just ask the deans who leaked the memo, threatening to read their email if no one came forward? Why not tell them what was being done if it was really an OK thing to do?”

According to the report, the school planned to inform the remaining deans this weekend, nearly six months after the search.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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