New Policy hopes to maintain integrity of name

In the three weeks following the announcement of the Harvd name policy, the policy has begun to come into its own.

Already, precedents have been set on points that were at best ambiguously delineated in its original incarnation adopted on Fen. 9.

Contrary to expectations of bureaucratic entanglement, putting it into practice has been surprisingly smooth.

"It's been manageable--busy, but manageable," says Provost Harvey V. Fineberg '67.

Mass. Hall officials seemed pleased with the policy's reception.


"The policy has evoked a lot of inquiry about appropriate use of the Harvard name, which is a good thing," Fineberg says.

"There seems to be general understanding of the importance of Harvard's protecting the use of its name," he says.

Under the new policy, the default position has shifted from allowing members of the Harvard community to use the University's names until asked to stop, to preventing members of the community from using the name until receiving explicit authorization, except under special circumstances.

"What it did was it made something explicit that had been implicit in the policy," says Associate Provost Dennis Thompson, referring to the caution against linking Harvard's name to research projects and books that has now been codified.

"There was a very strong sense we should make it clear that the burden of proof is on the people who use the [name]," Thompson says.

The new policy is more proactive because it promotes the use of Harvard's name in a positive light, instead of only stepping in when a suspected violation turned up.

"Now there needs to be a compelling reason to call a project or publication 'Harvard,'" says Assistant Provost Sarah Wald.

"It is a change in culture somewhat," she says. "It may take a little time to change the practices."

The Rationale

The new policy stems from last year's University Committee on Information Technology (UCIT), which was chaired by Fineberg.

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