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Harvard faculty dismayed by Globe disclosure that university searched deans' emails

Posted by Your Town  March 10, 2013 10:57 PM

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Following the Globe's disclosure that Harvard had searched resident deans' emails as part of an investigation into a leak, members of the faculty and the university community reacted with anger Sunday.

The Globe reported that Harvard University central administrators secretly searched the email accounts of 16 resident deans last fall, looking for a leak to the media about the school’s sprawling cheating case.

The New York Times, among others, followed the Globe's report.

“I was shocked and dismayed,” said the law professor Charles J. Ogletree, according to the Times follow up story Sunday evening. “I hope that it means the faculty will now have something to say about the fact that these things like this can happen.”

"This is unconscionable,'' reads a comment on the Harvard Crimson site. "Shame on the Harvard administrators, mainly FAS Dean Michael Smith, for sanctioning such an outrageous intrusion of the privacy of resident deans, many of whom are advisors and confidants of the students in their house.'


". . . it seems to me that we have taken another step away from the old feeling that the university was a family, benevolently disposed towards its members and even lovingly indulgent. It has taken a step toward becoming instead a bristling corporation, with adversaries within who must be spied upon using all available tools, or perhaps an authoritarian government,'' professor Harry Lewis wrote on his blog.

“I think what the administration did was creepy,” Mary C. Waters, a sociology professor, was quoted as saying in the Times.

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