A few interesting pieces of news from Harvard.
First, Harvard is setting up a scheme to avoid restrictive access policies of some journals. Essentially, as I imperfectly understand it, Harvard is obtaining from the faculty a non-exclusive right to disseminate articles written by the faculty. The intention is that a Harvard faculty member should be able to say to any journal that insists on having an exclusive copyright to an article, "That's fine, but I work at Harvard, and as such Harvard has a non-exclusive right to my work, which will be placed in an open repository." Stuart Shieber, a Harvard computer science professor and a strong proponent of open access, was behind this faculty legislation. Perhaps all the universities can get together and give a message to the journals that they are the ones that actually pay the faculty, and they will work against journals where the business model depends on restricting access to the research to only those who pay a monopoly-based fee.
Second, the Dean for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard, Dean Venky, is stepping down. Venky and I began about the same time at Harvard, and he's done a lot for improving the visibility and status of computer science and engineering at Harvard. I hope we can find a new Dean that can continue the push to build up these areas at Harvard.