Harvard College Dean Resigns In Wake Of Leak Scandal

174580_167846826769_6484182_nWhile Eric Holder refuses to resign and Obama refuses to fire him, another leading citizen appears to be moving toward a resignation after her own controversial leak investigation scandal. Harvard Dean Evelynn Hammands is leaving her post as undergraduate dean in the wake of a controversy over her ordering the searches of the emails of junior faculty to determine who spoke with the media on a recent cheating scandal. In my view, it was an outrageous act that contravened both academic and privacy principles.

She will step down in July but will then lead a new program on race and gender in medicine and science. She has denied that the scandal was any influence in her decision to resign.

Hammands investigation sounded strikingly similar to the defenses of the Administration in the interception of emails and the investigation of leakers. The scandal began as a response to another scandal. It was disclosed that 100 students were suspected of cheating on a take-home exam and dozens were forced to take a leave from the college. Hammands ordered the search of 16 resident deans who live in the student houses and serve as student advisers. They were not given notice of the interceptions, though Hammonds and Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, later insisted that they only spied on the email subject lines were examined, not their contents. It is hardly a defense. They violated the privacy of faculty and discarded any notion of due process and confidentiality.

The resignation was overdue, even with the denial of any pressure to resign. The question is whether Harvard will now just let this matter drop instead of taking any disciplinary action for the leak investigation.

29 thoughts on “Harvard College Dean Resigns In Wake Of Leak Scandal”

  1. An individual does not have privacy rights in e-mails sent through an employers e-mail system or server. She should not resign or be forced to do so. The deans, the brilliant deans at harvard, should now better — If you want to trash talk your employer or make things public like this, than these, oh so smart harvard educators, should have used their personal e-mail accounts, or picked up a phone.

  2. Ralph Adamo whines, “Don’t whine, Leftists…..CELEBRATE!”

    Does not Ralph Adamo ever tire of dividing humanity? “Leftists?” Your playbook reads like it was written in 1960-something. None of this “leftist” bunk is real, Ralph, in 2013. You are making it all up.

  3. though Hammonds and Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, later insisted that they only spied on the email subject lines were examined, not their contents.

    I realize you’re writing in outraged passion, but you have to stop, breathe, and edit a little better, JT.

  4. Mike & Larry

    Top drawer came to mind with me also. Maybe that is a common human trait. Perhaps Ms. Hammands could be commissioned by her university to study the issue and other similarily worthwhile pursuits worthy of her skill set. 🙂

  5. OS:

    You’re right. Plus, reading him is a slog, if that’s a word.


    Isn’t it always supposed to be the top drawer?

  6. Mike A.,
    How did they know which one was the underwear drawer?? 🙂

  7. Mike Appleton,
    I have two words that expose that “liberal” myth for the lie it is: Thomas Sowell.

  8. Evelynn Hammands and Michael D. Smith have admitted breaking into my house and going through my dresser, but insist that their actions are blameless because they did not open my underwear drawer out of respect for my privacy. I find their explanation as intellectually absurd as it is morally offensive. They may be qualified for positions with Wackenhut or the TSA, but they ought to be permanently barred from the university.
    Mike Appleton
    Leverett House ’69

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