Adam Muri-Rosenthal, a resident tutor in Mather House, has been appointed to replace longtime Adams House resident dean Sharon L. Howell, Adams House Masters Judith S. Palfrey ’67 and Sean Palfrey ’67 wrote in an email to students last week. Howell will depart Harvard this summer to become associate head of school at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Mass.
Muri-Rosenthal, who will move to his new job in Adams after four years as a tutor in Mather, said in a phone interview that he looks forward to the position’s combination of academic and administrative responsibilities.
Muri-Rosenthal called developing relationships with students the highlight of being a tutor in Mather, and said the opportunity to work with the students, House masters, and staff in Adams attracts him to the resident dean role.
Muri-Rosenthal, who holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard and previously led the Harvard Summer School program in Venice, will also begin teaching next spring. One of his academic interests is Italian cinema, he said.
Reflecting on his departure from his current role, Muri-Rosenthal said he will miss working with the House masters, students, and other tutors in Mather when he departs for Adams.
“I'm fortunate that I'll be in a place where I'll still be able to visit,” he added.
Muri-Rosenthal will fill just one of several positions in the College administration that are expected to be vacated in the coming months. Cabot House Resident Dean Emily W. Stokes-Rees will depart at the end of the academic year for a tenure-track position at Syracuse, and longtime Secretary of the Administrative Board John “Jay” L. Ellison will leave for the University of Chicago.
Administrators recently tapped Ad Board Associate Secretary Brett Flehinger to serve as Ellison’s interim replacement, but have not yet named a permanent secretary.
Muri-Rosenthal’s appointment comes in the midst of a discussion about the role that resident deans play in the College administration. Last year, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith convened a committee to formally review the position, just months after revelations of secret administrative email searches of resident deans’ email accounts sparked controversy and reignited a years-long debate about the role.
The review committee has since submitted its recommendations to Interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister for approval; among other suggestions, the committee’s report proposed changing the name of the position and reaffirming the requirement that the deans hold a Ph.D.
Sean Palfrey said the review committee’s recommendations were considered during the search process for Howell’s replacement. Howell has served as Adams’s resident dean since 2006.
—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.
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