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Harry R. Lewis '68 met with staff members and senior tutors on Wednesday, his first day as Dean of the College.
"He was getting acquainted, finding out people in different offices and individuals do," Associate Dean of the College Thomas A. Dingman '67 said. "He was reaching out to people and seeing people in his office."
Former Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 completed his last day of work last Friday, clearing out his files and going through some of his papers, Dingman said.
The staff shared coffee and croissants with the outgoing dean.
Earlier in the week of Jewett's departure, the office staff held an afternoon ice cream bash for the outgoing dean, Dingman said.
"The staff here gave him a bird feeder for his house in Maine," he added.
"People are feeling somewhat melancholy that he is moving on toward other things, but we're also excited by Dean Lewis' interest and energy," Dingman said last week.
"I think there's a mixture of enthusiastic anticipation and melancholy."
The transition was "smooth," facilitated by the close contact between Jewett and Lewis, according to Dingman.
"They've had lots of conversations," Dingman said. "It's very different from someone coming in from the outside."
Lewis is expected to become involved with a multitude of issues next year, from reform of the Core curriculum to prevention of alcohol abuse on campus.
Lewis is also responsible for selecting a new assistant dean for public service.
Lewis has experienced tensions with members of Phillips Brooks House Association, which says its recommendations were ignored in the recent Report on the Structure of Harvard College and on the committee named to appoint the public service dean.
Lewis will also take charge of the newly randomized system of upperclass housing assignment.
Jewett made the highly controversial decision to randomize housing assignments shortly before leaving office.
It was his last major decision, and it sparked a protest attended by more than 200 students.
Lewis' office staff is optimistic about the challenges before the fledgling dean.
"He's really gotten a good start," Dingman said.
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