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Lowell House Faculty Deans Eck, Austin to Step Down

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Lowell House.
Lowell House Faculty Deans Diana L. Eck and Dorothy A. Austin will step down at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, the two wrote in an email to House affiliates Wednesday.

This spring, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana will bring together a committee of students, staff, and members of Lowell’s senior common room to select the new faculty deans, Eck and Austin wrote. The committee will choose new faculty deans before the start of the next academic year.

Eck and Austin wrote they want the new faculty deans to adjust to leading the house during the final year of Lowell’s renovation. Lowell—the fifth of Harvard’s 12 undergraduate residential houses to be renewed—is currently in its first of two years of renovations.

“We think it is important for the incoming faculty deans to be appointed in a timely fashion, to familiarize themselves with the scope and facilities of the new Lowell House, and to make many of the important upcoming decisions,” they wrote.

In an email sent to students Wednesday morning, Khurana wrote Eck and Austin plan to “work closely” with the committee charged with picking their successors.

“We are so sorry to see them move on, and are deeply grateful for their dedication to Harvard College over the years,” he wrote.

Eck and Austin’s decision to step down comes after 20 years as Lowell faculty deans. In the email, they described their stint as faculty deans as “the happiest and most rewarding time of our lives together at Harvard.”

“We do plan to be here to see the House through this next year of our diaspora and there will be time in the year ahead to say just how much we love the Lowell House community,” the two wrote.

News of Eck and Austin’s upcoming departure from Lowell comes at a time of turnover for the leadership of some Houses. Last week, Khurana announced that Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Professor Brian D. Farrell and Irina P. Ferreras would serve as faculty deans for Leverett House starting next year.

—Staff writer Caroline S. Engelmayer can be reached at caroline.engelmayer@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @cengelmayer13.

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