The undergraduate dean at Harvard will step down this summer, she and the university announced on Tuesday, months after she came under fire for her handling of a search of some junior faculty members’ e-mail accounts.
Evelynn M. Hammonds, the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position of dean of Harvard College, will leave that post on July 1 after five years, but she will remain on the faculty, the university said in a statement posted online. She will lead a new program on race and gender in science and medicine, topics that have been at the core of her scholarly work for decades.
“I was never asked to step down,” Dr. Hammonds said. “I have been in discussions to return to academia and my research for some time.”
Harvard disclosed last summer that well over 100 students were suspected of cheating on a take-home exam, the largest such scandal in memory. As the Administrative Board looked into the cases and the students’ guilt or innocence — dozens of them were forced to take a leave from the college — elements of the investigation, which was supposed to be confidential, were reported by The Harvard Crimson.
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