John M. Bullitt '43, professor of English, has resigned as Master of Quincy House, effective next July, reliable sources said yesterday.
Master of the House since it was first planned in 1957, Bullitt told President Pusey last March that he had been anxious to leave House administration to devote more time to scholarly interests.
Bullitt would neither confirm nor deny the report yesterday, but it is known that he has purchased a home in the Coolidge Hill section of Cambridge, which another family is renting from him until July. He and his wife and four children will live in Quincy House for the remainder of the year.
When he was appointed, Bullitt was the youngest ever to head a Harvard House--and the first Master to have been an undergraduate in a House (Dunster) himself. Except for a leave of absence in 1962-63, he has directed Quincy's affairs since it opened in 1959.
Since he is only 44, Bullitt's resignation will come as a surprise to most people. He has been an outspoken advocate or the House system as a means of maintaining communication among Faculty, students, and administration. But he has often complained that the Houses may be too large.
Bullitt is a well-known expert in underwater archaeology. During his leave of absence, he spent part of his time diving in Greece, and he has since participated in several expeditions for the University of Pennsyivania Museum, including one last summer.
Although he would not comment on his resignation, Bullitt did say yesterday that he will "continue to devote four or five weeks a year to archaeology and some more time writing about it."
He said that he has no immediate plans to change his course offerings, which this year include Hum 1 ("Forms of Literary Experience"), English 141 ("The English Novel Before 1800"), and English 247r ("Fielding and His Contemporaries"). He is presently editing a standard textbook on 18th century English literature.
There has been no indication of who will succeed Bullitt as Master; President Pusey will probably announce his choice in the spring.