Harvard Names Interim College Dean After Snooping Scandal

Harvard University named Donald Pfister interim dean of its undergraduate college after former dean Evelynn Hammonds stepped down following an e-mail snooping scandal.

Pfister is a botany professor who also serves on the disciplinary committee for Harvard Extension School, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based university said today in a statement on its website. The search for a permanent successor to Hammonds will begin later this year, according to the statement.

Hammonds resigned from the post at the end of a five-year term after a report that she authorized e-mail searches to find the source of press leaks regarding the school’s response to widespread cheating on a government course exam last year. More than half of the 125 students implicated in the cheating imbroglio were forced to withdraw for as long as a year, Harvard said in February.

“I am deeply grateful to Don for agreeing to take yet another in a long line of important roles in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences,” Michael Smith, dean of the faculty, which includes most of its undergraduate teachers, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at jlauerman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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