Letter Attacks Judith Kidd

In a letter sent Monday to several University administrators and more than 100 students, alumni and community members associated with Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), four of the organization's outgoing officers strongly criticized Assistant Dean of Public Service Judith H. Kidd and questioned whether she should remain in her post.

The former officers accused Kidd of holding secret meetings, ignoring student opinions, merging unlike public service organizations and diverting resources away from the student-run organization. The letter urged her either to "celebrate and partake" in the "culture" of PBHA, or to leave.

Kidd denied that she has held unpublicized meetings about space allocation, but declined to comment on the letter's other specific allegations.

"I post my schedule daily," she said. "I have since the day I got here. My entire week's schedule is on my door. It has everything on it."

The outgoing officers wrote, "covert or overt attempts to attack this culture, either through staffing witch-hunts, funding priorities or political tactics are deplorable."


"A lengthy war of attrition over minor details between PBHA and the College, masked by a public appearance of calm, does not benefit either PBHA or non-PBHA programs," the letter continues.

According to Andrew J. Erlich '96- '97, the former president of PBHA, administrators and undergraduates are putting on smiling faces although issues remain unresolved.

"I hope [the letter] will make the College take pause and think about the implications of their actions, which I find highly destructive," he said. "A perception of calm...belies what I find to be a highly problematic agenda on the part of Judith Kidd."

Kidd said she was surprised to learn of the complaints of the former officers.

"I worked very cooperatively with them when they were officers to honor all the terms of the agreements reached between PBHA and Harvard last July," she said. "I am continuing to work cooperatively with the officers and the board now."

Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 said in an e-mail message that, although he was personally not sent a copy of the letter, he believes Kidd is doing "an excellent job."

"I am fully in support of her good efforts to help all the undergraduate public service activities," he wrote.

The letter specifically complained that Kidd is pushing House and Neighborhood Development (HAND), a non-PBHA program, to move into PBH.

But a resolution passed by the PBHA cabinet on February 19 states, "be it resolved that Phillips Brooks House Association be the only public service organization housed in the Phillips Brooks House."

However, the resolution includes some provisions for sharing the House's space.

Ruhi A. Khan '97, the former publicity chair of HAND, said the organization needs a permanent, centrally-located headquarters because it has members from every house.