I’m pleased to report that Harvard administrators yesterday informed us that our submitted petitions had contained sufficient valid alumni signatures that our names will appear on the forthcoming Overseer Ballot, and this morning the Harvard Crimson carried the story as their front-page lead article, appropriately titled “Unconventional Overseers Candidates Qualify for Ballot.”
We had had only a couple of weeks to obtain the necessary signatures, which required physical entry on Harvard-produced petitions, and with the major disruption of the huge East Coast storm, there were many times I doubted we could accomplish this urgent task. But we have now been successful, and our Free Harvard/Fair Harvard campaign is likely to provoke an intensive public debate over the next couple of months, regarding both tuition and admissions issues at America’s wealthiest and most prestigious university.
And if we win this debate, and a referendum vote by some 320,000 Harvard alumni elects us as Overseers on a platform of abolishing college tuition and increasing the transparency and fairness of the admissions process, I believe that there is an excellent chance that both these proposals will rapidly be implemented, with vast implications not only for Harvard itself but for many other universities, especially the more elite ones. It is possible that the near future will see sweeping changes in American higher education greater than any over the last few decades.
Meanwhile, as a means of presenting more convenient and timely information on our campaign and the issues we are raising, we have also just released our simple but utilitarian website, summarizing our positions and also providing an ongoing compendium of the media coverage, both friendly and hostile, that has provided a nuanced explication of our positions: