The report also affirms administrators’ claims that in conducting their searches, they did not read the contents of any of the searched emails. It also confirmed Faust’s statement that she was kept in the dark about the searches as they happened, revealing that she was unaware of them until March.
In a statement in response to Keating’s report, Faust said that she is “reassured” by Keating’s finding that the involved administrators were “acting in good faith” and in a way that they believed was in accordance with policy.
However, Faust said that “the detailed factual account in Mr. Keating’s report deepens my already substantial concerns about troubling failures of both policy and execution. The findings strengthen my view that we need much clearer, better, and more widely understood policies and protocols in place to honor the important privacy interests that we should exercise the utmost vigilance to uphold.”
In March, news broke that FAS Dean Michael D. Smith and the University’s General Counsel had authorized a set of secret searches of all the resident deans’ administrative accounts after internal communications related to the Government 1310 case were published in media reports.
Keating’s report does not address the circumstances surrounding Hammonds’s departure. It also does not address claims made by four College administrators that Harvard officials threatened to severely sanction the resident dean who shared an internal email advising Administrative Board members on how to counsel students accused in the Government 1310 case. Administrators have said that the eventual leak of that email to the press was a motivating factor for the searches.
—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.