Category Archives: confidentiality

March 16, 2013, 1:07 pm

The Custom of the Country: Investigating Email @Harvard.Edu

harvard-logo-jpg-180One of the downsides to being Harvard University is that everything you do is publicized as if no one else has ever done it.

Take the undergraduate cheating scandal, that led to the investigation of the cheating scandal, that led to a lot of students being asked to either take a leave to think about their sins or get the hell out of Dodge for good. Students (and proffies!) cheat at lots of institutions, but when it happens at Harvard it seems to be particularly news-worthy.

Why is this? Well, here’s a parallel example. When Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof, daughter of Irish activist rocker Sir Bob “I Don’t Like Mondays” Geldof, was picked up for shoplifting cosmetics last summer (and not for the first time either) it was commented on extensively; the same crimes committed every day by Joe Blow from Kokomo command very little attention. We expect Joe to shoplift: he’s a witless…

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May 26, 2012, 2:04 pm

Should Someone Who Has Been Harassed By A Faculty Member Sign A Confidentiality Agreement?

The answer, in short, is no.  Never. And if an administrator tells you that you must do so in order for the university to act, that person is bluffing.

I am moved to address this question because I stumbled upon a blog post written by a student I used to know.  I am not going to comment on the specifics of this case because I know absolutely nothing about it beyond what is alleged in the post.  But I do know that I have heard this story more than once, and it sounds familiar.  I also know that it is routine on college campuses to remand charges of sexual assault and sexual/racial/gender harassment made against faculty to secret administrative processes which have little or no legal standing except in the (important) sense that institutions must act on violations of their own rules.  What is too often the case is that the person harmed by a faculty member is asked, and agrees, …

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September 5, 2008, 11:43 am

Jumping the Tracks: Applying for a Job When You Already Have One

The Tenured Radical gmail account has been receiving a few gentle prompts asking when new installments in the job market series will appear. “Hey! What happened to the job market
posts?” one faithful reader writes. Well, I must confess that the lure of national politics and the beginning of the semester has kept me more than busy (although I have nothing — NOTHING– to say about the Republican convention. I have no words to express my dismay that the Republicans have finally been brought to their knees by their right wing. I couldn’t even pay attention to Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech for all the shots of that poor baby being passed from hand to hand in the gallery and the crowd shrieking maniacally when she delivered the line about the pit bull and the lipstick.)

However, today the series continues with:

Applying for a job when you already have one.

About a year ago there was a …

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April 6, 2007, 12:35 am

Zenith Confidential

Well, I have my nerve, don’t I? Spreading Zenith’s secrets all over the internet?

No, no, no. I am not telling more tales today. What I do want to discuss is Confidentiality. This is a talismanic phrase at Zenith, and it is part of what is at stake in unexpected publicity (internal to Zenith) about this blog, publicity that has led to recent reflections, retrenching and readjustment. Central questions have been: Do students in class have the right to think that the classroom is a confidential space, thus allowing them to speak at will without the fear that they might be misperceived? And — my topic today — Are the workings of a university better kept confidential, to the point where critiques of the tenure system immediately create the impression of spilling the beans, regardless of whether specific beans about specific meetings have actually been spilt?

The primal scene looks…

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