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Harvard Replaces ‘House Master’ Title with ‘Faculty Dean’

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. ― Faculty dorm leaders who were previously called house masters at Harvard will now be called faculty deans.

College officials announced the change on Wednesday following complaints that the title “master” had historical ties to slavery.
The dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Michael Smith, said in a campus email that he has not seen any direct connection between the “master” title and slavery, but that “dean” fits the job better.

Some on campus fought to keep the old title, sparking a heated debate.

Harvard and other Ivy League schools assign undergraduates to residential houses led by faculty members long known as masters. But colleges across the country have been reconsidering names and traditions that critics call insensitive. In November, Princeton replaced the title “master” with “head of college.”

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