Use of the Harvard Name

Harvard University has promulgated a policy on “Use of Harvard Names and Insignias” which applies to the use of the “Harvard” name (and logos) by faculty members and others, including Harvard programs and affiliates and has also promulgated associated guidelines on “Use of the Harvard Name in Internet Addresses, Domain Names, Web Sites and Other Electronic Context” and on “Guidelines for Responding to Requests from Third Parties for Endorsements.” These University documents can be found in their entireties at the Provost’s web site on the internet at http://www.provost.harvard.edu. In accordance with the Harvard name policy, the Medical School has also promulgated supplemental rules consistent with the University policy and guidelines. The purpose of this memorandum is to highlight the major points of the University policy and guidelines and to set forth the Medical School’s supplemental rules as well as the process for review and approval of the use of the Harvard name at Harvard Medical School.

University Name Policy

Principles

  • The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that any implied association with the University is accurate.
  • The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that the activities with which the University is accurately associated maintain standards consistent with its educational purposes.
  • The University and its members have a responsibility to protect its assets by seeking a fair share of the economic value that the use of the Harvard name produces.

Standards for Schools and Other University Units

  • A name that refers to the University as a whole may be used to identify an activity only with the approval of officials representing the University as a whole.

For example, the name Harvard Program in XYZ or the Veritas shield cannot be used without advance approval by the Provost. The Provost will generally not approve the use of the name in this form unless the program represents a broad institutional endeavor (e.g. more than one Harvard School is involved in the program and the Deans of relevant Schools have approved the proposal). Requests from the Harvard Medical community to the Provost for approval of the use of the Harvard name in this way should go first to the Office for Faculty Affairs at the Medical School.

  • A name that refers to individual Schools or units (a unit is a department or organization that is part of the University but not part of any School, such as the Harvard University Health Services) may be used to identify an activity only with the approval of the responsible authority of the individual School or unit and, in certain cases, the Provost.

For example, the name Harvard Medical Program (Center, Institute, Division, etc.) in XYZ cannot be used without approval by the Dean of the Medical School, after review by the Council of Academic Deans and the Faculty Council. The Dean and the Councils generally will not approve the use of the Medical School’s name in this form unless the activity includes and/or is open to faculty participation from all interested affiliated institutions.

The uses of individual School/unit names that require approval by the Provost are generally those involving use of the name by outside individuals or entities (e.g., a venture undertaken with an outside firm to produce products or services sold under the Harvard Medical School name, or fundraising or promotional activity for a non-Harvard entity).

Standards for Faculty, Staff and Students

  • Faculty members, staff and students may use or authorize the Harvard name (alone or in conjunction with the name of a specific School or unit) to identify any activity, individual, entity, or publication only with the approval of their Dean or the Provost, except as described below.
  • Faculty members and staff may use the Harvard name to identify themselves (e.g. “Jane Doe, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School”). In using or authorizing the use of the Harvard name to identify themselves in connection with activities conducted with outside individuals and entities, faculty and staff members should assure that the Harvard name is used in a manner that does not imply University or School endorsement or responsibility for the particular activity, product, or publication involved.

For example, faculty and staff members may use their Harvard Medical School titles, and the School seal, for identifying themselves for the purposes of their faculty related responsibilities. This includes using their faculty and staff title and the School seal on letterhead and business cards. However, faculty and staff members should never use the Harvard name and seal when participating in private outside activities not related to their faculty responsibilities. Faculty members should limit their identification with Harvard to listing their formal titles, and then only when engaged in outside activities relevant to their professional expertise. In these uses, the title should be in the context of biographical information, not in a separate manner that would visually link the University or the School to the corporate or other outside activity. Please see the section on Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on Published Works below for the appropriate use of the Harvard name when authoring a book.

Use of the Harvard Name in Internet Addresses, Domain Names, Web Sites and Other Electronic Contexts

  • Advance permission must be obtained (from the Provost for “Harvard” or from the Dean for “Harvard Medical School”) before the Harvard name can be used in any form, including abbreviations or in combination with other words) in an internet address, an email address (other than one that contains solely an individual’s name, e.g. jane_doe@harvard.edu), or a web site identification. Student organizations should work through the Dean of Students’ office to obtain the necessary permission.
  • Any internet address that includes the name “Harvard” or any of its individual schools in any form, including addresses using common abbreviations such as “HMS” for Harvard, must be owned by the University. Individuals and non-Harvard organizations may not register these internet addresses in their own names. Harvard affiliated or approved organizations and units that have received advance permission (see above) must register in the name of “the President and Fellows of Harvard College.” The Network Operations Center (NOC) netmanager@harvard.edu should be notified in the case of all domain name registrations outside of the harvard.edu domain whose internet address includes “Harvard” or any of its individual Schools. The NOC is available to help with registrations for any University unit. These guidelines apply whether or not the Harvard University server or another server is used.

Responding to Requests from Third Parties for Endorsements

  • In general, requests for endorsements from outside parties are discouraged; they should be the exception and not the rule in business relationships with outside vendors. Promotional material that identifies some unit of the University as a customer or a client but does not give an opinion concerning the quality of a product may be permissible. In these cases, the name of the particular school or department maybe used, but not “Harvard” or “Harvard University” more broadly.
  • Promotional material that gives an opinion about the quality of a product or service is only permissible when done by an individual in his/her personal capacity, not when done by a school, department or other unit of the University. In the case of an individual, reference to that person’s University title or position may be made only if there is explicit recognition that statements made do not officially represent the views of the University or any of it’s units or officers.
  • The use of the University or Medical School shield or other insignia will not generally be permitted. Photographs of identifiable Harvard landmarks, buildings, statutes, etc. which imply an endorsement of a product or service are not permissible.
  • Any written promotional material referring to the University or any of its units must be reviewed and approved in advance by the Office of the Provost.

Medical School Supplemental Rules

  • Use of the Harvard Medical School Name or Seal by Affiliates and by Affiliates of Affiliates

Harvard Medical School has formal affiliations with seventeen hospitals and/or health/research institutions, and it is appropriate for these affiliated institutions to use the Medical School name and seal on their institutional letterheads and other materials along with their own names and seals, except in the case of continuing medical education materials (i.e. brochures) not administered by the Medical School. In some instances, these affiliated institutions may have affiliations with other entities that do not have direct affiliations with the Medical School. It is generally not appropriate for these affiliates of affiliates to use the Harvard name or seal on their letterhead or on other materials. These secondary affiliates may only note their link to the primary affiliate.

  • Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on the World Wide Web

The University and Medical School names and seals may not be used on web pages other than those reviewed and approved consistent with this memorandum. Faculty members may use the Harvard Medical School name and seal on a personal web page that functions like a business card, but may not use them on a web page describing a clinic or program not consistent with this memorandum, or for a personal site that promotes books, consulting or other activities outside of faculty responsibilities. Web pages identified with University or School names or shields should never have links to corporate or commercial web sites without prior approval from the HMS Name and Seal Review Committee (see below for approval process).

  • Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on Textbooks, Trade Books, and Related Published Works

Use of the Harvard name on textbooks, trade books, and related types of informational or educational publications (in either print or electronic form) is limited in the following ways:

HMS Policy: Under the policy first adopted by the Medical School in 1983 and revised in 1996, publication of a textbook, trade book, or other related type of publication by a member of the Faculty of Medicine that proposes to use the Harvard name in its title in any form (e.g., Harvard, Harvard University, or Harvard Medical School) requires prior approval by the Dean upon the recommendation of the Faculty Publishing Review Committee.

Use of University and Medical School logos and insignia in any location of any publication also requires the same approval by the Dean upon the recommendation of the Faculty Publishing Review Committee.

The current chair of the Faculty Publishing Review Committee is Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff. Copies of the complete policy statement may be obtained from Dr. Komaroff (anthony_komaroff@hms.harvard.edu) or the Office of the Dean.

Consumer Works: In addition to the general policy described above, publications for the consumer (lay) audience by individual faculty members may not use the names or logos of the University or Medical School in a manner that suggests institutional sponsorship or endorsement.

Specifically, in any print or electronic publication, faculty members may not use the names “Harvard” or “Harvard University” without approval of the University’s Office of the Provost. Nor may faculty members use the name “Harvard Medical School” without approval of the Dean, with input from the Faculty Publishing Review Committee.

Faculty members may refer to Harvard Medical School as their home institution (e.g., Robert Jones, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School) on inside pages of print or electronic books, on the dust jacket flaps where author information appears, or on the back cover of paperback books where author information appears, so long as the words “Harvard Medical School” appear in the same font size as other author biographical information.

Books published through Harvard Health Publications, the consumer publishing division of Harvard Medical School, may use the names or logos of Harvard Medical School on the cover.

Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff (anthony_komaroff@hms.harvard.edu), the current chair of the Faculty Publishing Review Committee.

  • Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on Continuing Medical Education Programs, Materials and World Wide Web Sites

Under the policy first adopted in 1983 and restated in 1991, continuing medical education programs whose promotional or other course materials bear the Harvard Medical School name and/or seal in such a way as to imply Medical School sponsorship must be approved and administered by the Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education, whether or not Category 1 continuing medical education credit is issued. Any World Wide Web address (URL) for a site promoting or providing continuing medical education requires prior approval if it contains the Harvard Medical School name (e.g. DermCME.hms.harvard.edu).

Policy pertaining to the appropriate use of the Harvard Medical School name on continuing medical education programs, materials and World Wide Web sites is available from Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, Faculty Dean for Continuing Education.

Process for Review and Approval of the University or Medical School Name

Requests for approval or questions on the appropriate use of the University and Medical School names and seals should be brought first to the Office for Faculty Affairs at the Medical School. Depending on the issue raised, the matter may then be brought to the HMS Name and Seal Review Committee, the Council of Academic Deans, the Faculty Council, and the Office of the Provost. Questions on the use of the University and Medical School names and seals in publications generally should be brought to Dr. Anthony Komaroff of the Faculty Publishing Review Committee at 617-432-4714. Questions about the use of the University and Medical School names and seals in consumer (lay) publications should be brought to Patrick Skerrett at 617-432-1791. Questions about the use of the University and Medical School names in continuing medical education related materials should be brought to the Dr. Sanjiv Chopra at 617-384-8628.

Please call the members of the HMS Name and Seal Review Committee if you have questions or would like further information:

  • Gretchen Brodnicki (Gretchen_Brodnicki@hms.harvard.edu), 617-432-2496
  • Gina Vild (Gina_Vild@hms.harvard.edu), 617-432-0440
  • Dr. Maureen Connelly (Maureen_Connelly@hms.harvard.edu), 617-432-1106

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