Timeline: Lewis' Tenure: A Look Back

1994

“Report on the Structure of the College,” co-authored by Lewis, strongly recommends randomization of the Houses.

February 1995

Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles appoints Lewis dean of the College.

July 1995

Lewis takes over as dean of the College.

November 1995

Lewis restructures the Phillip Brooks House Association, appointing Judith Kidd as PBHA director and assistant dean of public service.

December 1995

Seven-hundred-fifty students protest restructuring of PBHA in Harvard Yard.

Students criticize Lewis for his tougher focus on underage drinking, saying it was a disincentive for students to seek help when dangerously intoxicated. Lewis had sent out a letter to parents and students in the beginning of the year warning of the perils of underage drinking.

May 1996

Sinedu Tadesse ’96 kills her roommate Trang Phuong Ho ’96 in their Dunster House suite. Lewis later says that Harvard will use the incident to raise awareness about campus resources for dealing with emotional problems, but does not change the College’s counseling or tutor systems.

Fall 1996

Lewis’ randomization plan begins in Harvard Houses. As a result, first-years no longer list their top choices, but are randomly assigned to Houses.

May 1998

Twenty-six current and former House tutors, all minorities, tell Lewis and other University officials that the decision to randomize Harvard’s Houses has adversely affected minority undergraduates and severely weakened the House system as a whole.

September 1999

Harvard University and Radcliffe College officially merge and Harvard College, led by Lewis, assumes full responsibility for all female undergraduates.

Lewis halves the maximum size of blocking groups to eight from the current cap of 16, hoping to increase student involvement in House life.

February 2001

Lewis issues a 37-page report on his first five years as dean, identifying flaws in the current academic advising system, detailing the College’s problematic lack of space, and bemoaning the inadequacy of recreational athletic facilities like the Malkin Athletic Center.

August 2001

In a letter mailed to members of the Class of 2005, Lewis advised entering students to “slow down” and concentrate on the quality, rather than the quantity, of their college experience.

October 2001

The Boston Globe publishes private e-mails Lewis wrote to Kenan Professor of Government Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. ’53 in their feud over grade inflation. Lewis has contested Mansfield’s claims about grade inflation, particularly his assertion that it was caused in part by an influx of black students to the College in the 1960s.

October 2002

Lewis announces that kegs will be banned on or near the Harvard athletic complex during all home events, a decision criticized by many students.

Lewis formally announces his intent to abolish the Dean’s List, which currently includes 92 percent of upperclass students, at a Faculty Council meeting.

March 17, 2003

Dean of the Faculty William C. Kirby announces that Lewis will step down as dean.