Dean Asks To Change Name of Degree

Hillary Duff might receive a different degree from the Harvard Extension School if Dean of the Extension School Michael Shinagel gets his way.

Shinagel recommended that the phrase “extention studies” be removed from the degrees of future Extension School graduates at yesterday’s meeting of the Faculty Council—the highest governing body of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

Instead, Shinagel said degrees should indicate the graduate’s specific field of study.

Council members did not vote on the changes.

Weary Professor of German and Comparative Literature Judith L. Ryan, a Council member, said that “misunderstandings might occur” with changes to the wording of the diploma.

The Council also discussed the search for a replacement for FAS Dean William C. Kirby for the first time since March 8. Kirby will step down on June 30.

The conversation was informal and general, according to Ryan, and no specific candidates were discussed.

Welch Professor of Computer Science Stuart M. Shieber ’81 made a presentation to the Council about reducing the cost of providing scholarly publications in the Harvard libraries.

“The [scholars] are doing the writing, the editing, the reviewing, and they’re doing the reading,” Shieber said. “There’s a market failure that has resulted in this system.”

Shieber suggested that open-access journals might provide a new option for scholars, although many options are still being discussed.

“Printing and distribution in the day of the Internet can be done in a completely different way,” Shieber said. “Access can be done at essentially zero marginal cost to anyone.”

Also at yesterday’s meeting, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Theda Skocpol presented information on this year’s admissions pool.

—Staff writer Allison A. Frost can be reached at

—Staff writer Samuel P. Jacobs can be reached at