Harvard acknowledges additional email searches

Harvard University officials are releasing more information about searches of faculty email accounts. (Photo: Amanda Art/Metro)
Harvard University officials are releasing more information about searches of faculty email accounts. (Photo: Amanda Art/Metro)

Harvard University officials say secret searches of faculty email accounts were more extensive than they initially reported.

Dean of Harvard College Evelynn M. Hammonds told a faculty meeting on Tuesday that she authorized a resident dean’s faculty and administrative email accounts to be searched for a second time, looking for evidence of a media leak. The unnamed dean allegedly forwarded an email about a widespread cheating scandal to two reporters from the Crimson, Harvard’s student newspaper.

That contradicts a statement Hammonds and Harvard President Drew Faust released last month, which characterized the probe as a “very narrow, careful, and precise subject-line search” limited to the administrative email accounts of 16 resident deans. Most of the deans did not receive advanced notice about the initial search, which took place last fall.

“I regret deeply the poor notifi­cation of these searches,” Hammonds said Tuesday, according to the Boston Globe, which obtained a copy of Hammonds’ remarks. “Let me be clear: No e-mails were opened, and no content was searched.”

Resident deans are both administrators and faculty, and have both types of email accounts. The Crimson reports that the additional searches appear to violate the Faculty of Arts and Sciences email privacy policy that governs faculty email accounts. That policy requires searches be approved by the FAS Dean and the Office of the General Counsel.

FAS Dean Michael Smith says he didn’t find out about the email searches until last month.

“Although I consulted with legal counsel, I did not inform Dean Smith about the two additional queries. This was a mistake,” Hammonds said. “I also regret the inaccuracies in our March 11 communication resulting from my failure to recollect the additional searches at the time of that communication.”

Faust said a non-Harvard attorney is investigating the extent of the searches, and that a task force is being formed to revamp the university’s email privacy policies.

It may take more than new regulations to satisfy some faculty members.

“It seems to me that trust has to be based on something,” classics professor and Faculty Council member Richard F. Thomas said at the meeting. “The request that you make that we have trust suggests there aren’t consequences from this past case that go beyond saying simply, ‘Let’s all talk and get along together.’”

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sep. 3: 'Houdini,' 'Colbert'…

Watch "Homeland" star Mandy Patinkin on "The Colbert Report."

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Style

5 minutes with..Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff on her Spring '15 show.