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Three Dormitories Select New Housemasters

By Jennifer Lane
Staff Reporter

Three of the five dormitories looking for housemasters recently settled on new faculty members who will start this summer. With vacancies filled at Burton-Conner, MacGregor, and Senior Houses, only New House and Random Hall are in need of housemasters.

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Munther A. Dahleh and his wife Jinane have accepted the housemaster position at MacGregor.

The Dahlehs will replace Stephen J. Lippard PhD '65 and his wife Judith who have been housemasters at MacGregor for four years. The Lippards will leave in July when Stephen Lippard takes over as head of the Department of Chemistry.

The Dahlehs "hope to improve the quality of life for the students by creating a homey' environment at MacGregor," Munther said. They plan to have an open-door policy and to encourage students to interact with them, he said.

Dahleh plans to have more house-wide activities that will "enrich the students' living experience and contribute to the unity of the dorm," he said.

Overall, Munther and Jinane Dahleh speculate that they will find the experience of living with students quite enjoyable.

Associate Professor of Literature Henry Jenkins and his wife Cynthia have accepted the housemaster position at Senior House, Jenkins said.

They will replace Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Paula T. Hammond PhD '84 who is leaving to "run the race for tenure," she said.

Jenkins said he decided to take on the housemaster position partly because of encouragement from other housemasters. During talks with other faculty housemasters, especially the Orme-Johnsons at Bexley Hall, "the idea stuck in my head that this was a place where an energetic and creative faculty member might make a difference in the life of the campus and might find a community that facilitated his own growth and learning," Jenkins said.

Jenkins chose to be housemaster at Senior House because, "the energy, creativity, and yes, reputed unruliness' of Senior House excited me," he said. "There was a good mix between my own unorthodox and irreverent tendencies and the students at Senior House."

Jenkins has had the opportunity to have many Senior House students in his classes, and finds them to be the most open-minded and flexible thinkers he has encountered at MIT, he said.

Jenkins plans to be very active with the remodeling and renovation plans. He plans to use electronic communication to encourage debate, communication, and exchange with all the students, he said.

Jenkins would like to "foster an environment of mutual respect for the diversity which constitutes Senior House culture and a better understanding of the strengths of that culture," he said.

Jenkins will work to form a better alliance between East Campus and Senior House to work on common projects and problems, he said.

"First and foremost, I want to listen, to better understand what the students of Senior House want, and to try - as my hero Jean-Luc Picard would put it - to make it so," Jenkins said.

Taylors at Burton-Conner

Halston W. Taylor, head coach of the men's track and cross country teams, and his wife Cathy will be leaving Random Hall to be the new housemasters at Burton-Conner. They will replace William L. Porter PhD '69 and his wife Lynn, who have been at Burton for four years.

The Porters are leaving Burton-Conner to avoid paying large capital gains taxes on a home they sold in Concord, Porter said.

The Taylors will be leaving Random because they have a four-month old baby, and "with him, it makes this apartment too small," Taylor said.

"Most of the things we've done here at Random were to do and get things to the dorm, and we've done less with the students directly they're pretty independent here at Random," Taylor said.

"We're going to miss Random Hall, we've made a lot of friends here," Taylor said. "It's too bad we can't take some of them with us," he said.