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Faculty Criticize University’s Scanning of Deans’ E-mail

EMPLOYEE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 11, 2013

After learning that Harvard University had searched the e-mail accounts of 16 resident deans, faculty members are speaking out against the actions, reports The New York Times. The search was an effort to learn who leaked to the media information about a student cheating scandal. Harvard’s policy states that the university can search faculty e-mail accounts during an internal investigation, but it must notify them prior to or soon after the search. In this case, faculty were notified about six months after the search, causing one professor to note, “it would seem that the administration violated its own policy.” Others acknowledged the possibility that the university saw the resident deans not as faculty but as regular employees—who have lesser protections. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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