Author Topic: Dean in E-Mail Searches Steps Down at Harvard  (Read 1424 times)

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Offline Riney

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Dean in E-Mail Searches Steps Down at Harvard
« on: May 30, 2013, 17:18:52 PM »
Dean in E-Mail Searches Steps Down at Harvard
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
Published: May 28, 2013

The undergraduate dean at Harvard will step down this summer, she and the university announced on Tuesday, months after she came under fire for her handling of a search of some junior faculty members’ e-mail accounts.

Evelynn M. Hammonds, the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position of dean of Harvard College, will leave that post on July 1 after five years, but she will remain on the faculty, the university said in a statement posted online. She will lead a new program on race and gender in science and medicine, topics that have been at the core of her scholarly work for decades.

“I was never asked to step down,” Dr. Hammonds said. “I have been in discussions to return to academia and my research for some time.”

Harvard disclosed last summer that well over 100 students were suspected of cheating on a take-home exam, the largest such scandal in memory. As the Administrative Board looked into the cases and the students’ guilt or innocence — dozens of them were forced to take a leave from the college — elements of the investigation, which was supposed to be confidential, were reported by The Harvard Crimson.

In March, it was revealed that university administrators, hunting for the sources of those leaks, had searched through Harvard e-mail accounts of 16 resident deans, who are junior faculty members, live in the student houses and act as student advisers. Most of the resident deans were not told of the searches until months later. Dr. Hammonds and Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, who had approved the search, said that only the messages’ subject lines were examined, not their contents, and that no other e-mail search was conducted.

But a few weeks later, Dr. Hammonds acknowledged that she had ordered another search, without consulting Dr. Smith, that also looked for specific e-mail recipients.

Faculty members described a loss of trust after the searches became public, and The Crimson called on Dr. Hammonds to resign. Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, conceded that the university’s e-mail privacy policy was contradictory, and commissioned an outside lawyer to investigate the affair.

Dr. Hammonds said, “The e-mail controversy was difficult, but it was not a motivating factor in my decision to step down as dean.”

the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/education/harvard-dean-in-e-mail-controversy-to-step-down.html?_r=0
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear

Offline Riney

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Re: Dean in E-Mail Searches Steps Down at Harvard
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 17:26:54 PM »

   I know this article represents some very small scale spying, but still I find it very scary because an employer was one that was doing it. I mean really, at a huge Ivy League University like Harvard. The dean took it upon herself to conduct email searches on the staff??

   When we talk about surveillance or spying we most likely think of the government doing it. Harvard is a private university and I wonder even how she was able to get through all the secure passwords of those employees?

    Where I work, cyber security is a huge deal and passwords are extremely protected, usually I consider it being protected from an outside attack, a non employee. In this case scenario it was the administration that hacked the email accounts.  :-\
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin .. and yet we must arm ourselves with fear