While You Were Gone
The search for Harvard's 27th president officially kicked off this summer, as the Harvard Corporation named the nine-member search committee.
The group will solicit advice suggestions from faculty members and alumni and will meet throughout the fall and winter to choose Neil L. Rudenstine's successor.
Rudenstine announced in May that he will step down this June after 10 years in the presidency.
The committee is comprised of members of both of Harvard's top governing boards. The group includes six of the seven Corporation members and three Overseers. Rudenstine, who is also a member of the Corporation, is not a member.
As in past presidential searches, the group does not include faculty or students, although members will consult the greater Harvard community through letters and meetings.
The committee will work mostly behind-the-scenes, discreetly sifting through the dozens of would-be presidents.
Robert G. Stone Jr. '45, the senior member of the Corporation, will chair the committee.
D. Ronald Daniel, Hanna H. Gray, Conrad K. Harper, James R. Houghton '58 and Herbert S. Winokur '65 round out the committee's Corporation members. The three Overseers on the search committee are Sharon E. Gagnon, Thomas E. Everhart '53 and Richard E. Oldenburg '54.
--Tova A. Serkin
President Neil L. Rudenstine appointed Robert H. Giles curator of the Neiman Foundation, a fellowship pro gram for mid-career journalists, on June 25, even after protests delayed the move for three weeks.
Giles, the former editor of the Detroit News, was backed by powerful figures at several large city newspapers.
In late June, Giles was hours away from being named curator when former colleagues raised concerns about his coverage of a Detroit newspaper strike and his long association with Gannett, a large newspaper conglomerate.
The storm of protest garnered national attention and was covered closely by Boston newspapers.
But after meeting with Giles and discussing his candidacy, Rudenstine gave him a "strong...unqualified reaffirmation of support," according to a media executive with a strong interest in the appointment.
While many of his former colleagues praised Giles, others criticized him for a heavy-handed management style and soft news coverage as editor of two Gannett-owned newspapers in Rochester.
Some former associates also claimed he fired subordinates who clashed with him--allegations Giles firmly denies.
"Anyone with even a whiff of disagreement with Giles ended up getting handed his head," said Mike Meyers, a 1987 Nieman fellow who worked with Giles in Rochester.
--David M. DeBartolo
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority approved the sale of 48 acres of Allston land to Harvard for $151 million in July, opening the way for future University development across the Charles River.
Located south of the Harvard Business School campus, the property known as Allston Landing North has been coveted by the University for years.
University officials have speculated about moving one of the several Cambridge-based Harvard graduate schools there.
The University offered $151,751,636 for all 48 acres of MTA land at a blind auction on June 29, but had to undergo financial verification before the sale could be completed in July.
A long planning and negotiation process with nearby residents, land tenants and Boston city officials, must occur before the land--which is covered with train tracks and warehouses--can be developed.
CSX Transportation has a permanent easement on the land, allowing their trains to run through the area even after the sale.
Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company, also has a plant on the site.
"As a development area, it has to be regarded as extremely difficult," said Paul S. Grogan, Harvard's Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs. "It's going to be complex."
As part of the purchase, Harvard has agreed to give an option to Boston University (BU) to buy a ten-acre portion of the land. The parcel is located south of Cambridge Street, cutting it off from the rest Harvard's purchase.
--Imtiyaz H. Delawala
At a late July meeting, Cambridge residents living around the southern edge of campus voiced their support for an 18-month development moratorium for their area, which includes the site occupied by Mahoney's Garden Center on Memorial Drive.
Harvard has expressed an interest in building a modern art museum on the site.
Residents told the city's ordinance committee that the neighborhood is already too crowded and that a museum would block their easy access to the Charles River.
Others said that issues such as traffic and ecological impacts should be studied before the University moves forward with any more plans.
University officials last met with Riverside residents in late June, presenting architectural drawings and models for the proposed site.
At that meeting, there were as many supporters of the proposed museum as there were opponents.
While the city council will most likely approve the moratorium this fall, Harvard's director of community relations for Cambridge Travis McCready said he hopes its passage will not stifle communication with the community.
"I should hope this does not change our ability to engage our neighbors," McCready said.
--Imtiyaz H. Delawala
Harvard faced continued legal action this summer from two former employees suing the University.
In July, former Harvard security guard Viatcheslav "Steve" Abramian received a mixed ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC).
Abramian, a Russian immigrant, sued the University in 1998, saying Harvard had discriminated against him on the basis of national origin and had fired him in retaliation for his complaints about anti-Russian slurs by co-workers.
A jury agreed with Abramian and awarded him over $1.2 million in compensatory and punitive damages. But Harvard appealed the ruling, arguing that the judge in the original case had given incorrect instructions to the jury.
In July, the SJC agreed that the jury instructions were incorrect but upheld the verdict that the University fired Abramian in retaliation for his complaints.
The charge alleging discrimination must now go back to a jury for retrial.
The following week, Harvard moved to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the University by a professor denied tenure two years ago.
Former Associate Professor of Government Peter Berkowitz claims that Harvard misapplied its rules regarding tenure procedures.
He says the Faculty's Docket Committee dismissed his grievances--which he had filed after being denied tenure-- without sending them to an ad-hoc panel for consideration.
Harvard's attorneys argued that the University followed its regular procedures.
The case is pending.
--Imtiyaz H. Delawala
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation this summer awarded a $44.7 million grant to a Harvard Medical School program that battles multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Peru.
The gift was the largest private donation ever given to the fight against tuberculosis.
"What the foundation has done has really shaken up the entire public health world," said Jim Y. Kim, instructor in medicine and the grant's principal investigator. "Even a year ago no one would say we have to think about MDR-TB all over the world...but the Gates Foundation is taking [it] on."
Doctors developed a treatment for tuberculosis in the 1940s, but it continues to spread, especially in the developing world.
Because of their weakened immune system, HIV patients are often susceptible to TB, which has allowed the disease to spread.
In recent years, improper use of tuberculosis drugs has led to the development of MDR-TB, which is resistant to cocktails of even four or five standard drugs.
The Gate's Foundation grant represents the first effort by any organization to fight resistant strains of the disease.
Officials from the Gates Foundation hope the project in Peru will be used as a model for work in other countries.
"We've done a lot of work in TB. I think this is just another component in what we're trying to do in that area," said Annemarie Hou, a spokesperson for the Foundation.
--Tova A. Serkin
Off-duty Cambridge police officers who frequented the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Mass. Ave and Bow Street will need to find another place for their morning caffeine fix.
The store closed on Aug. 31, clearing the way for a complete renovation of the building.
"We have to clear out the tenants so that developers can develop the building," said Jeremiah P. Murphy Jr. '73, president of the Harvard Cooperative Society, which owns the building.
The adjacent Bow and Arrow Pub closed its doors in May for the start of the renovations to the two-story building.
While the Dunkin' Donuts franchise was expected to close months ago along with the Bow, it was allowed to stay open while renovations started.
Both the Bow and Dunkin' Donuts were featured in the 1998 movie Good Will Hunting.
Dunkin' Donuts owner Steve Latzanakis said that he expects to return to the location next spring after renovations are completed, although he will most likely pay a higher rent.
"We're under negotiations with the developers to come back," Latzanakis said. "It looks very positive."
The closing is the most recent announced departure from Harvard Square. In June, Sage's grocery store left its Brattle Street location. Grafton Street recently announced it would have to leave its 1280 Mass. Ave. location by next June to allow for the expansion of Cambridgeport Bank.
--Imtiyaz H. Delawala
A trademark dispute between the University and notHarvard.com, an online educational website, erupted into a flurry of litigation on July 27.
NotHarvard struck first, suing the University in an attempt to establish that its domain name does not infringe on the University's trademark.
The University responded on July 31, suing notHarvard for $75,000 in damages, claiming that the company had diluted the famous "Harvard" name.
In a press release, notHarvard said it had taken appropriate measures to secure rights to the name and had tried to negotiate with the University before resorting to legal action.
The University, however, disputed that claim.
"That's a bunch of baloney," said Harvard spokesperson Joe Wrinn.
Wrinn said that a lawyer from notHarvard called on July 27 to discuss figures for a possible settlement of the conflict. After about an hour of discussion, according to Wrinn, notHarvard announced that they were suing the University.
Wrinn maintains that the case is not about collecting monetary damages, but about protecting the Harvard name. Harvard lawyers have been increasingly active in the last several years in pursuing those who use the University's name without permission.
"We get most concerned when someone uses our name in something related to teaching and research," Wrinn said.
According to William W. Fisher, a law school professor, the case is likely to focus on the idea that notHarvard is "diluting" Harvard's famous trademark.
--David M. DeBartolo
The Ecuadorean Supreme Court on issued warrants for the arrest of Jamil Mahuad, the former president of Ecuador, who is now a fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP), on July 15.
The warrants allege that Mahuad committed unconstitutional and possibly corrupt acts when he froze Ecuador's bank accounts during that country's financial crisis.
Mahuad responded by issuing a press release detailing the problems he faced and the rationale for his response. He denied any wrongdoing, and a team of lawyers has been working to get the warrants revoked.
Shortly after he was deposed in January 2000 by a military coup, Mahuad arrived at the Kennedy School as the Heffernan Visiting Fellow. He led a study group in the spring titled "Conflict, Crisis and Leadership in Latin America."
Mahuad received a degree in public administration from the Kennedy School in 1989 as a Mason fellow. He often touted his Harvard credentials during his presidential campaign in Ecuador.
Mahuad has been working on his own projects at the Kennedy School over the summer and may continue to teach at the University in the fall.
--David M. DeBartolo