Official Resident Dean Title Changes Again

The second time was the charm in finding a new name for the resident deans of Harvard’s Houses.

Resident deans—the administrators briefly known as House deans—will now be called Allston Burr Assistant Deans of Harvard College, according to several College administrators. The resident dean of Adams House, for example, is now officially “Assistant Dean of Harvard College, Adams House.”

The deans of the four freshman yards will continue to be called “resident deans,” but they will also gain the title of assistant dean of the College, according to Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde.

This summer, former Interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister changed the name of the upperclassman resident dean position to “House dean.” The decision followed a set of internal recommendations made by a Faculty of Arts and Sciences committee charged with reviewing the resident dean position and its role within the College administration.

But concerns about the “House dean” title’s connotation prompted the most recent name change, according to Lassonde.

The deans wanted a job title that was “comprehensible to people outside the University who see their titles and then can infer something about their roles,” Lassonde said. He said the deans felt that both the “resident” and “House” variations of the title did not sufficiently signal the job’s academic responsibilities.

The name change was approved earlier this month, Lassonde said. The deans’ responsibilities have not changed, however.

Several other administrators, including the interim secretary of the Administrative Board and the director of advising programs, are similarly titled assistant deans of the College.

—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.

—Staff writer Steven S. Lee can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenSJLee.


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