Following my investigation into Michael Broyde’s use of false identities to tout his scholarship and join rival rabbinic groups, Emory University launched an investigation. In the interim, I published additional findings about Broyde’s scholarship and another fake identity.
Here’s Emory’s press release announcing the conclusion of their investigation:
After media reports last spring that Professor Michael Broyde created several pseudonyms as alternate identities, Emory University convened a special Institutional Review and Investigation Committee to review his conduct in accordance with University procedures. Professor Broyde, who also is a rabbi, allegedly used the pseudonyms to write about matters of Jewish law and public policy and to gain access to a members-only listserv of the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF).
The Committee consisted of three university faculty members, two from the Law School and one from Emory College of Arts and Sciences. The Committee interviewed Professor Broyde and other parties of interest, reviewed relevant writings, correspondence, and emails, and analyzed the news stories and relevant publications.
Professor Broyde acknowledged that he created a pseudonym (“Hershel Goldwasser”), which he used to submit letters to Jewish journals and to gain access to the IRF listserv. He acknowledged posting blog comments using pseudonyms, including comments that praised his own work. Professor Broyde denied creating the pseudonym “David Keter” or communicating pseudonymously with reporters.
The Committee did not find evidence to substantiate any conduct beyond that which Professor Broyde acknowledged. Specifically, the Committee did not find evidence to substantiate the allegations that Professor Broyde created the Keter pseudonym or communicated pseudonymously with reporters.
With regard to Professor Broyde’s acknowledged use of a pseudonym, the Committee found that Professor Broyde used a pseudonym exclusively for activities in his rabbinic capacities, not in his scholarly capacities connected with Emory University. Accordingly, the Committee concluded that the conduct did not violate Emory policies that govern allegations of research misconduct, and the University accepted the Committee’s conclusions.
Nevertheless, candor is an extremely important value for the legal profession, the Law School, and the University, and Professor Broyde has pledged that in the future he will not engage in any conduct that conflicts with this value.
Professor Broyde has stated: “I wish to express publicly to my students and colleagues and to the officers of Emory Law School and Emory University that which I have already expressed privately to many at Emory: I deeply regret these actions, and I apologize that some of my rabbinic work has come to reflect adversely on Emory University, an institution that I have so proudly served since 1991.”