Harvard College issued a partial apology and a lengthy statement this morning offering its explanation to the search of resident deans’ emails as part of a leak investigation.

In its statement, Harvard said the email search was prompted by an investigation into a leaked email and other information that described an Administrative Board case involving the university’s cheating scandal that became public last fall.

The Globe reported that Harvard University central administrators secretly searched the email accounts of 16 resident deans last fall, looking for the leak.