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Marius To Act As Adams Master

By Halton A. Peters

Richard C. Marius and Lanier Smythe will become acting co-masters of Adams House when current Adams House Master Robert J. Kiely '60, goes on sabbatical during spring semester.

Marius and Smythe, who have been affiliated with Adams House through its Senior Common Room, will live in the personal residence of the Masters amid their "private effects," Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 wrote in an e-mail.

Kiely is expected to return to the College in the fall of 1997 to resume his duties as master.

Marius said that he was first approached about filling the position last spring by Lewis.

"I'm just going to be taking his place as sort of an interim master," Marius said. "My plan is to be there only one semester."

"This temporary appointment was made by the College in consultation with Masters, not by the more elaborate process that was used to fill the permanent vacancies in Cabot and Pforzheimer," said Lewis.

Marius said he was pleased to be in a position to interact more intimately with students, but is not sure what will happen to the character of the house in Kiely's absence.

"The personality [of Adams House] has been sustained over the years in a sense that the House is based on open-mindedness and a resistance to conformity. We take pride in not going with the main-stream," Kiely told The Crimson last spring, adding that he feared Adams's unique character would be lost after randomization.

Marius said he has always been proud of Adams' commitment to music and the arts, as well as the house's reputation for social tolerance.

As for the potential homogenization of the Adams House character after randomization, "I'm just going to wait and see what happens," said Marius.

"I love Adams House and the House is running smoothly. I don't have any great revolutionary plans to turn the house upside down," he said, and added it would be "improper" to try anything new in the Master's absence.

Marius--who is highly regarded among many students--has had a controversial career at Harvard. In 1992, Marius published an article in Harvard Magazine in which he compared the Israeli secret police to the Gestapo. The article drew a flurry of angry letters that accused the writer of anti-Semitism.

The piece came back to haunt Marius in the summer of 1995, when he was hired as chief speech-writer to Vice President Al Gore '69--and then "unhired" when the vice president's office got word of the controversy.

Marius also had a stormy 15-year tenure as director of Expository Writing. In articles on the program that ran in 1993, dozens of preceptors told The Crimson that they and their students were verbally abused and subject to intimidation and retaliation tactics.

Marius stepped down shortly after the complaints were aired.

No Formal Announcement

Although the appointment has been confirmed by Lewis and Marius, no formal announcement has been made to the students of the College or the residents of Adams House.

"While there is certainly no secret about this appointment, it was considered more of a House matter...and so no effort was made by the College to publicize it," said Lewis.

Marius said that he had no idea why an announcement had not been made, or when one was expected. An official in the Adams House Office said students of Adams House have already been informed about the measure

As for the potential homogenization of the Adams House character after randomization, "I'm just going to wait and see what happens," said Marius.

"I love Adams House and the House is running smoothly. I don't have any great revolutionary plans to turn the house upside down," he said, and added it would be "improper" to try anything new in the Master's absence.

Marius--who is highly regarded among many students--has had a controversial career at Harvard. In 1992, Marius published an article in Harvard Magazine in which he compared the Israeli secret police to the Gestapo. The article drew a flurry of angry letters that accused the writer of anti-Semitism.

The piece came back to haunt Marius in the summer of 1995, when he was hired as chief speech-writer to Vice President Al Gore '69--and then "unhired" when the vice president's office got word of the controversy.

Marius also had a stormy 15-year tenure as director of Expository Writing. In articles on the program that ran in 1993, dozens of preceptors told The Crimson that they and their students were verbally abused and subject to intimidation and retaliation tactics.

Marius stepped down shortly after the complaints were aired.

No Formal Announcement

Although the appointment has been confirmed by Lewis and Marius, no formal announcement has been made to the students of the College or the residents of Adams House.

"While there is certainly no secret about this appointment, it was considered more of a House matter...and so no effort was made by the College to publicize it," said Lewis.

Marius said that he had no idea why an announcement had not been made, or when one was expected. An official in the Adams House Office said students of Adams House have already been informed about the measure

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