Dunster Tutors Charge Unfair Hiring Practices

Say Asst. Senior Tutor Influenced Hirings of Brother, Girlfriend

Eight tutors in Dunster House last week charged that a house official influenced the house master in the hirings of the official's brother, girlfriend, and longtime friend as resident tutors.

The tutors said Vincent W. Li '87, assistant senior tutor to the master, actively encouraged Dunster House Master Karel F. Liem to hire William W. Li '84, Vincent Li's brother, Fiona Murray and Owen Young, a friend of Vincent Li's since junior high school.

Liem, Murray and Young all denied that Li had any role in the hirings. Both Vincent and William Li could not be reached despite repeated phone calls and beeper pages placed last week and yesterday.

Seven of the eight tutors contacted spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying they feared they would be fired if they spoke on the record. Austin Lin, a non-resident tutor in computer science, made statements on the record only after he resigned on Thursday to protest the tutor selection process.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 has also met with Dunster tutors twice in the last two months, though no formal complaint about tutor hiring practices has been filed.


Although most of the tutors did not question the competency of William Li, Murray and Young, they charged that "a web of nepotism" plagued the hiring process.

Several of the tutors and students interviewed said Vincent Li, in charge of resident tutor hiring for the house, had a significant role in his brother's interview process.

Four students said Vincent Li asked them in February to interview his brother for the position. The students also said Vincent Li was present at one of the three student interviews and encouraged one of the students impressed with William Li to endorse him with the masters.

"He asked me how the conversa- tion went, and then he asked me to pass on my thoughts to Karel or Hetty by phone," Holly K. Tabor '94 said.

And both Edward Yim '94 and Tabor said Vincent had planned to be at their interviews with his brother, but canceled because of scheduling problems.

But while Li's job ordinarily includes narrowing the applicant pool for resident tutor positions and organizing student interviews of the candidates, Liem said Li only did "paper work" when his brother applied for a position.

"We eliminated Vince from the process," Liem said.

Liem admitted that Vincent Li was present at one interview but said he disapproved.

"I don't know why he was around," Liem said. "I don't know what he was doing there. No, I don't think it was appropriate he was there."

Liem said he made it clear that "it was a formal interview," but the four students interviewers said they thought the interview was an "open discussion."

"It was no problem [that Vincent was there]. If it had been a formal interview, it may have been uncomfortable," Geoffrey Kerchner '93 said.

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