Harvard’s First Black Dean to Step Down

Evelynn Hammonds says Harvard officials did not ask her to step down

evelynn m hammondsEvelynn M. Hammonds, the first woman and the first African-American dean of Harvard College, announced Tuesday that she will leave the post after five years, the New York Times reports.

Hammonds will remain on the faculty and will lead a new program on race and gender in science and medicine, the elite university said in a statement posted online. She will leave the post on July 1.

“I was never asked to step down,” Dr. Hammonds told the Times. “I have been in discussions to return to academia and my research for some time.”

You might remember that Hammonds was at the center of an investigation into student cheating at Harvard, in which she ordered a search of some junior faculty members’ e-mail accounts. The search wasn’t made public until months later, eroding trust among faculty and prompted the school’s newspaper to call for her resignation.

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