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Currier House Master Takes Spring Sabbatical

Currier House Master Richard W. Wrangham will take a sabbatical this spring while remaining in residence in the House. Wrangham’s co-master, Elizabeth A. Ross, will perform most formal House master duties, such as attending administrative meetings, while he is on sabbatical, Wrangham said.

According to a Monday email from Currier House Administrator Patricia G. Pepper to Currier affiliates, Wrangham will “be taking a step back” this spring, and students wishing to personally contact him should first reach out to Pepper.  

Wrangham, a professor in the department of Human Evolutionary Biology known for his work on primates and evolution, said he will spend the sabbatical writing a book that examines similarities between humans and domesticated animals and explores human aggression.

Richard W. Wrangham
Currier House Master, Richard W. Wrangham, is planning to take a sabbatical to conduct research but will still live in the House.

While some faculty members spend their sabbaticals away from their home and colleagues, Wrangham said he and Ross made the conscious decision to remain in residence at Currier this spring.

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“It’s difficult, because if you want a sabbatical in your home place, you tend to carry on doing many of the responsibilities that you have in your ordinary life,” he said. “But [Elizabeth and I] like being in Currier; we wanted to stay here… We plan to juggle.”

Currier House Committee Co-Chair Hannah G. Sears ’16 said she does not think that Wrangham’s term on sabbatical will have any noticeable impact on student life in the House.

“I don’t know how it will affect things on an administrative level, but from a student life perspective, I think he will still be present,” Sears said, noting she had recently met with Wrangham several times and that she expects that he will remain involved in Currier’s social life.

Wrangham’s sabbatical coincides with other administrative transition in Currier as Robert C. Meisner, who was recently named the House’s acting dean, assumes his new post. While Wrangham acknowledged that the spring would be a time of transition for Currier, he said he does not anticipate any issues.

“I am totally confident that everything will go well,” he said.

—Staff writer Quynh-Nhu Le can be reached at quynhnlu.le@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @qnhule.

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