Liem Revises Tutor Policy

Dunster Master, Students Confer

In a sparsely attended meeting to alleviate tension about Dunster House's recent tutor conflict, Master Karel F. Liem announced some reforms in the tutor hiring process which had been suggested by students in the house.

One of the policy changes will allow the most vocal critic of Liem's handling of tensions in the house to remain. Under rules announced in September, which required Dunster alumni to wait five years before applying to be tutors, David Bear '92 would have lost his job.

The meeting, which attracted about 30 students and 12 tutors, was moderated by two members of the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Liem also said he would place himself on the pre-med advising committee which was at the center of complaints last spring. Students had said they feared that the committee co-chaired by Vincent W. Li '87 and his brother William W. Li '84 would be biased.

The meeting also brought to light new allegations that the Li brothers threatened tutors who last year charged Vincent Li with influencing Liem in hiring Li's brother, girlfriend and two longtime friends.


Vincent Li attended the meeting for about a half an hour last night. William Li did not attend the meeting.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57, who attended the meeting, confirmed yesterday that some tutors have charged that the Li brothers made "personal threats" against them. One tutor said last night that the Li brothers said they would damage his career in retaliation for speaking against them.

Jewett also said he has heard "second-hand reports that some students felt harrassed and intimidated." He encouraged students to bring their concerns to him.

"The issues about harassment are being lookedinto in a formal way," Jewett said. "We willinvestigate to see if there was improperharassment that falls into the range of actionablebehavior."

Jewett said the allegations were different fromthe Li brothers' threats of a libel suit made in aletter sent to six tutors in September. He alsosaid the Li brothers had filed a complaint withthe police claiming harassment. Jewett did not saywhether the complaint was filed against studentsor tutors.

Liem said last night the Li brothers wouldissue a written apology and retraction to the sixtutors who received the letter. "Hopefully thatwill heal the wounds," he said.

But Liem took the blame for the increase intension in the house upon himself. "Theresponsibility lies with me," Liem said. "Iwas...not providing `masterly' leadership. Forthat I formally apologize."

Liem said he should have followed a three-hourmeeting last year with further discussion amongstudents. And he expressed regret that onenon-resident and two resident tutors have resignedover the controversy.

"I think that if I had these kinds of meetingsquickly and reacted faster...[the resignations]could have been prevented," Liem said.

Some Dunster students and tutors felt thatalthough it was "noble" of Liem to takeresponsibility, they were upset the Li brothersdid not take any of the blame publicly.

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