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Profile Jack Stauder


JACK STAUDER'S course, Soc Rel 149, launched him from the obscure thousands of junior faculty into the role of one young man battling the Establishment to achieve his ideals in teaching. The bust of University Hall distinguished Stauder further as the highest ranking Corporation appointee to be arrested.

In the controversey over Soc Rel 149. "Radical Perspectives in Social Change." Stauder split the Soc Rel Department over the issues of student sectionmen and course curriculum. With more than 700 students enrolled, his course was one of the most popular last spring. When he felt the course would be compromised this year (by not allowing student sectionmen, for instance). Stauder withdrew his course from the catalog. The same idealism typified his behavior in the bust of University Hall and its aftermath.

Stauder now has an identity. The instructor with the radical course. The Faculty member who was sort of fired. But what was he like before last spring? Before he split both the Soc Rel Department and the University community over Soc Rel 149? Before his arrest in April?

Born in Colorado and raised in New Mexico. Stauder grew up as the son of a rancher. At high school he participated in the drama and the speech clubs. Stander was editor of the school newspaper and in his junior year, he represented his class on a rinky-dink Student Council. Good marks and extra-curricular activities landed him in Harvard despite the disadvantage of coming from a public high school in the Southwest, and having no family history at the College.

After his freshman year. Stander took a year's leave of absence. During that time he did construction work, enlisted for six months in the Marine Corps Reserves, served in Texas and caught mononucleosis.

He returned to Harvard as an American History and Literature major and found himself in Eliot House. On rare occasions Alan Heimert will confide that Stauder was in his sophomore tutorial. Stauder remembers the tutorial but is as anxious as Heimert not to talk about it.

Michael Janeway '62 of the Atlantic Monthly was in Eliot House with Stauder. Janeway recalled that Stauder was "terribly serious, very quiet. All talks were serious talks. He had a kind of quiet power which came from seeming to know his mind and his work." "I felt a great deal of respect for him. He kept very much to himself and seemed to get the very kind of satisfaction out of his work that other people get out of football games." Janeway added. Lately. Janeway and Stauder have gotten together at parties.

STAUDER spent one of his summers working with Mexican Indians-an experience that sparked an interest in social anthropology. Consistently Rank List 1 or 2. Stauder graduated in 1962 (although he chose 1961 as his social class). Winning a Marshall Scholarship, he spent the next two years in Cambridge, England, studying social anthropology.

The summer following his first year at Cambridge. Stauder went to Ethiopia where eventually he found his specialty-the Majangir tribe. That summer. Wunderley Rich '62 also went to Ethiopia, but for a different reason: to marry Stauder.

After his second year in England, Stauder returned to Ethiopia for two more years to do research. He went back to Cambridge for two final years of doctoral study, receiving his Ph. D. in 1968. His dissertation was entitled. "Homestead and Settlement among the Majangir of Southwestern Ethiopia."

Stauder had little difficulty finding a job. He got a Corporation appointment at Harvard in July, 1968. "I knew people at Harvard. They offered me a job. So I took it." Stauder describes the procedures for his job placement here.

How do his associates react to him? A Soc Rel 149 sectionman who graduated from the College last June characterized Stauder as "incredibly nice, soft-spoken. He became really radicalized by the course. The way he acted before was very politically naive."

A member of the Soc Rel junior faculty called Stauder "one of the calmest and nicest people I've met. He's very competent in anthropology. I respect him in that area and I've come to like him personally. On most issues, he's a quite quiet and reserved young man. But when asked to respond to threats and innuendoes like he was last spring, he can respond ."

Has Stauder changed under the pressure of the past seven months? "I haven't noticed any marked difference with him in the last year," replied the same junior faculty member. "He has been able to respond warmly and kindly to human beings who relate to him that way. He's not provocative in general except when provoked. Even under severe pressure his ability to retain emotional control is fantastic."

One senior Faculty member in Stander's department has observed a contrast between Stauder last spring and Stauder this fall: "In his interpersonal relationships this fall, he seems to be chastened. While not abridging his liberal radical principles, he seems quieter, less strident. He seems to be less nervous, less jumby, more open. Last spring, I really judged him more by his public behavior. This fall. I'm judging him more by conversations in my office and parties in his home. He's really a nice guy."

The same Faculty member says Stauder has felt the pressure "more than most Faculty members realize. Last spring. I had the feeling he was drinking a very heady brew, with the biggest course at Harvard. This fall he obviously has a lot of sympathy but SDS isn't pushing and 148-149 doesn't back him up." He concludes that Stauder "must feel more exposed. This fall, he's asking himself what kind of future he has."


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