Privacy

Harvard Dean in E-mail Search Controversy to Step Down

Response to cheating scandal resulted in a privacy scandal

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A top Harvard administrator who faced criticism from faculty and students for authorizing searches of e-mail accounts regarding a massive cheating scandal earlier this year has resigned her leadership post.

Evelynn Hammonds, dean of Harvard College for the past five years, will return to teaching and research in the departments of the History of Science and African and African American Studies, leading a new program on the study of race and gender in science and medicine at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, the university announced today.

At a faculty meeting last month, Hammonds said she had authorized the searches of two e-mail accounts belonging to a resident dean last fall, seeking the source of a leak to the media about the cheating case. Hammonds said she conducted the search out of concern that the names of students suspected of cheating would ­become public.