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Harvard Explains Secret Search Of Deans' Email

Harvard University administrators have issued an explanation of their efforts to secretly search the emails of 16 deans to find the source of a leak to the media about a cheating scandal.

People are led on a tour of Harvard University in Cambridge on Aug. 30, 2012. (Elise Amendola/AP)
People are led on a tour of Harvard University in Cambridge on Aug. 30, 2012. (Elise Amendola/AP)

According to a statement issued Monday by deans Michael Smith and Evelynn Hammonds, the email search last fall was made because the leak raised concerns that student information considered private was at risk.

After consulting with university lawyers, Harvard conducted a "very narrow, careful, and precise subject-line search" to find the source. No email content was searched.

That search found that an email from a disciplinary board had been forwarded from a resident dean to two students.

The statement said the university determined that the leak was "an inadvertent error and not an intentional breach," and no further action was taken.

This program aired on March 11, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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