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Leverett Resident Dean to Depart Mid-Year

Leverett House
Leverett House is one of Harvard's twelve undergraduate houses.

Leverett House Resident Dean Bilal A. Malik will step down from his post at the end of the semester, according to an email he sent to House residents Monday evening.

Malik’s departure from the House comes halfway through his fifth year as resident dean, a position he held temporarily for an additional year prior. Before stepping into the role in 2015, Malik served as a Leverett tutor, associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and assistant dean of Harvard Summer School.

Each of Harvard’s undergraduate Houses employs a resident dean to advise students on personal or academic difficulties and represent students on the Administrative Board — a College disciplinary body.

Malik first moved to Leverett House in 2007. He wrote in his email that he decided to leave mid-year in order to move closer to his family in Pakistan.

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“This community has been my family for more than a decade now. However, I also have family in Pakistan, and my wife and I feel that it is important to be closer to them at this particular point in our lives,” Malik wrote. “Our plan is to move to Lahore, Pakistan, in December after the end of fall term.”

He added that Leverett became his home over the past 12 years and thanked former Leverett Faculty Deans Howard M. Georgi ’68 and Ann B. Georgi, known to many Leverett residents as “Chief” and “Coach.”

“My childhood was marked by moving across Pakistan because of my father’s job, and then I moved across continents when I immigrated to this country,” Malik wrote. “Living in Leverett was the first time I felt I truly belonged, and I feel deeply indebted to Chief and Coach for welcoming me to this community more than twelve years ago with their characteristic warmth and love.”

Malik's announcement came just days after Leverett residents aired concerns about restricted common spaces and a dearth of social events under the leadership of current Leverett Faculty Deans Brian D. Farrell and Irina P. Ferreras in emails and a public document. In a Google Doc shared among undergraduates, students detailed their grievances and discussed bringing them to House management. Farrell and Ferreras assumed their roles in fall 2018.

Leverett student Steven T. Elliott ’22 said he will miss Malik’s guidance next semester.

“He seemed like a great resident dean, super wise, seemed super caring,” Elliott said. “I’m really sad to see him go, honestly.”

Leverett resident Benjamin I. Sorkin ’20 said he has worked closely with Malik through the House Committee and that he valued Malik’s contributions to the House’s institutional memory.

“The House will certainly miss him,” Sorkin said. “I think he’s one of the last remaining holdovers of institutional Leverett memory — like, people who have been here a long time.”

In addition to his role in Leverett, Malik lectures in the Anthropology department and has taught seminars on education and Islam.

—Staff writer Shera S. Avi-Yonah can be reached at shera.avi-yonah@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @saviyonah.
—Staff writer Delano R. Franklin can be reached at delano.franklin@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter at @delanofranklin_.

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