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

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Arts

EXCLUSIVE: Backstage with Adam Jacobs at 'Aladdin' on…

Metro shadowed Adam Jacobs backstage at "Aladdin" on Broadway.

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…