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Psychology Department Bars Hauser from Teaching

By Gautam S. Kumar, Julia L. Ryan, and Kevin J. Wu, Crimson Staff Writers

Psychology Department Chair Susan E. Carey ’64 confirmed that psychology professor Marc D. Hauser will not be teaching next academic year.

The Psychology Department faculty voted in February to deny Hauser permission to teach, according to Carey.

Hauser is currently on a one-year leave of absence following a University investigation that found him responsible for scientific misconduct.

The Crimson reported earlier this week that according to the online 2010-2011 course catalogue, Hauser was expected to teach in the coming year. But administrators have since revealed the results of the Psychology Department’s February vote.

While Hauser’s leave of absence will end after this academic year, Carey declined to elaborate on what role Hauser will play this fall.

“The details are not worked out,” she said. “Harvard is currently exploring lots of possibilities.”

Carey said that the faculty vote does not preclude Hauser from conducting research at Harvard.

Other faculty members in the Psychology Department declined to comment for this story. Hauser also declined to comment.

Following the department vote, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith barred Hauser from teaching across FAS in the coming academic year, according to FAS spokesperson Jeff Neal.

“Dean Smith supported this decision and, in that light, he will not condone Professor Hauser teaching in other FAS departments or Schools,” Neal wrote in an emailed statement.

Hauser canceled his course in cognitive evolution last fall at the Extension school the night before it was scheduled to begin.

At the time, Hauser wrote in an email to The Crimson he was “deeply disappointed” about the cancelation, and he would look forward to teaching in the fall of 2011 at the College and the Extension school.

The Psychology Department faculty vote is only effective for the next academic year, according to Neal.

Carey declined to speculate about plans for Hauser’s role beyond the 2011-2012 academic year.

Hauser—whose research focuses on cognitive function in primates—was found last August to be “solely responsible” for eight instances of scientific misconduct by an internal University investigation, leading to the correction or retraction of three published studies.

In a letter to the Faculty on Aug. 20. Smith wrote that Hauser would face “appropriate sanctions,” which could include “involuntary leave, the imposition of additional oversight on a faculty member’s research lab, and appropriately severe restrictions on a faculty member’s ability to apply for research grants, to admit graduate students, and to supervise undergraduate research.”

After concluding its internal investigation, the case was sent to the federal Office of Research Integrity to conduct an independent investigation.

Carey said the faculty’s decision was not related to the federal investigation, which has not made public its results.

­—Staff Writer Gautam S. Kumar can be reached at gkumar@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Julia L. Ryan can be reached at jryan@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Kevin J. Wu can be reached kwu@college.harvard.edu.

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FASSocial Sciences DivisionFAS AdministrationPsychologyMarc Hauser