Dates for milestones
As a rule of thumb, I suggest we use the dates that things became real, not the day the idea was agreed to or the press release announced an intention. I've tried to find dates of deliverables, such as the first month something was offered, or became policy, or launched on the web with a working site.
There are exceptions, such as the Obama announcement (which was followed by a Bill that is still not real).
Other ideas or suggestions for how to decide on dates?
Yip, I agree.
In the date column we should use the date when the projects became real -- not the intention. We can always include a clarifying note or reference in the details section refering to earlier dates of key milestones.
For example, that date that Otago Polytechnic took a Council decision to establish the OERF in the details / clarification section, where the date that the OERF become real, i.e. the date on the certificate of registration.