Deans' emails secretly searched by administrators at Harvard University are making news today. On March 10, Boston.com reported that 16 resident deans had their confidentiality breached as part of an investigation involving a cheating scandal. While the deans feel as though their emails should not have been read in "secret," others feel that this was fair game.
"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?" said Harry Lewis, a computer scientist and former dean of the college.
The Deans' emails secretly searched could anger those who felt that they were protected under the Faculty of Arts and Sciences policy. Only one dean was told about the search but not until after it was conducted. The other deans found out about the "secret" email readings in the media. They are going to be officially informed soon.
"Harvard will not comment on personnel matters or provide additional information about the board cases that were concluded during the fall term, Michael Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said in an email Sunday. If the committee's work were compromised, Harvard College would protect the process, he said" (Boston.com).
The Deans' emails that were secretly searched could have provided information about the cheating scandal that surfaced last year involving students cheating on their final exam. 125 students were implicated in 2012.
© Effie Orfanides 2013