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Two upperclassmen residential Houses—Dunster and Winthrop—as well as the non-residential Dudley House are searching for new resident deans this spring, launching a process that will replace the principal link between undergraduates in the Houses and College administrators.
Resident Deans fulfill a number of roles in the undergraduate houses, including representing students before the College’s Administrative Board, and the searches begin as the deans in each of the three Houses step down.
According to Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair, a committee of House residents, tutors, and staff will interview candidates after a centralized screening process. O’Dair said she hopes the search will generate “national interest.”
“We want to get the best possible candidate pool,” O’Dair said. “I help lead the search process and work very closely with the teams in the Houses.”
Finalists will also be invited to tour the Houses with students, faculty deans, and administrators, including staff from the Office of Student Life and the University’s Campus Services department, before the College extends offers for the positions. Pending their successful academic appointment to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, resident deans serve renewable five-year terms, according to O’Dair.
Carlos E. Diaz Rosillo, a former Government lecturer and Dunster House resident dean, left Harvard in early January to take a position in President Donald Trump’s administration. Diaz Rosillo had served as a member of the 45th president’s transition team since November. His course, Government 1359: “The Road to the White House,” had the second largest course enrollment at the College when it was offered in spring 2016.
In a weekly message to Dunster residents on Jan. 23, Dunster Faculty Deans Roger B. Porter and Ann R. Porter, wrote: “An engaging and gifted teacher, Carlos taught many of you in his popular course on ‘The Road to the White House.’ Now he is taking that road himself and we wish him well.”
Jennifer J. Hsiao, a resident tutor in the House, has served as Dunster’s acting resident dean since Diaz Rosillo’s sabbatical leave in fall 2016.
Winthrop House will welcome a new resident dean when in August after construction is completed on a year-long renovation of House.
Resident Dean Gregg A. Peeples will leave Winthrop, where he has served as the House’s live-in administrator since 2006. He is a lecturer on Government and teaches freshman and House seminars on “The Laws of War.” Peeples did not respond to requests for comment.
Winthrop Faculty Deans Stephanie R. Robinson and Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., declined to comment for this story.
Dudley House Resident Dean Christopher M. Gilbert, a History Ph.D. student, will be leaving at the end of the spring semester, according to O’Dair. Gilbert did not respond to requests for comment.
Dudley is Harvard’s “13th House” for undergraduates who live off-campus or in cooperative style housing at the Dudley Co-op. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students are affiliated with Dudley as well.
Although resident deans hold half-time faculty appointment in FAS, their role has become increasingly administrative over the past few decades. The position was the subject of controversy in 2013 when then-Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds conducted secret searches of resident deans’ email accounts.
Subsequent revisions to the position included changing the deans’ title, stipulating that holders possess a Ph.D., and restructuring the reporting line back to the Dean of the College or their designee.
The College will begin reviewing applications in March, according to job postings for the position, and their appointments will be effective July 1.
—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.
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