Blog Network

About The Bloggers


Lawyers Advance in Bids for Harvard Board

"I'm pleased to announce that I have been nominated as a petition candidate for the 2009 Harvard Board of Overseers election," civil liberties lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate said this week in an e-mail to his supporters. As we discussed here in January, the Cambridge, Mass., lawyer and Harvard Law graduate has mounted a campaign for a seat on Harvard University's Board of Overseers, one of two bodies that govern the prestigious university. He hopes to do something about what he perceives as a lack of free speech there.

Silverglate and another petition candidate, Robert L. Freedman, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Dechert, were each able to collect the 219 alumni signatures they needed to win a spot on the ballot, which will be mailed April 1 to some 330,000 Harvard alumni. Both agree they face a tough fight. The last successful petition candidate was Archbishop Desmond Tutu 20 years ago. In the years since, even Barack Obama lost election as a petition candidate. In his e-mail to his supporters, Silverglate writes that he and Freedman have decided to coordinate their campaigns.

Bob is more focused on educational issues, such as teaching methods and the curriculum. I'm more concerned with issues of liberty, fairness, and process, such as eliminating speech codes and reforming the notorious Harvard student disciplinary board procedures. While we focus on different aspects of the University, we are united in our belief that Overseers must be proactive in putting Harvard students, their lives, and their education first.

The two will be going up against the official slate of candidates nominated by the Harvard Alumni Association. That slate includes one lawyer, Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella in Los Angeles, and former New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who is now a fellow at Yale Law School. Read more about their campaigns in the Harvard Law Record, at the campus-freedom blog The Torch, and at the Web sites of Silverglate and Freedman. You can also watch a recent interview with Silverglate and Freedman by Emily Rooney of the television program "Greater Boston."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 25, 2009 at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)


About ALM  |  About  |  Customer Support  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions