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Dean Allen Takes Roxbury Position

By Dan McGuire
staff reporter

Assistant Dean for Residence and Campus Activities Susan D. Allen is leaving the Institute to become Dean of Students at Roxbury Community College.

Allen came to the Institute in the fall of 1992 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She was promoted to assistant dean in the spring of 1994 from her previous position as adviser to student activities, residences, and campus activities.

"I think she was doing a great job," said Dean for Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams, "I can't tell you how proud I am of Susan... I'm very happy for her."

During her three years in the Dean's office, Allen helped form an ad hoc group to examine the issue of race relations at the Institute. The group, which met every few weeks on an informal basis, grew into the current Committee on Race Relations relations in the spring of 1993.

Allen involved in controversies

Allen was involved in the controversy last year regarding the cover of the 1994 Freshman Picture book, which featured a monkey asking the question "What does `intuitively obvious' mean?!"

"The concern... was that the symbolism of a monkey type of creature has traditionally been used negatively in a racist manner in the United States to depict African Americans," said Allen in an interview last fall.

"There are three videos produced at MIT that are titled `Intuitively Obvious' done by Black, Hispanic, and Asian MIT students respectively on what it is like to be a Black, Hispanic, or an Asian at MIT," highlighting another possible problem with the cover, she said.

Earlier this year, Allen's office pushed for full implementation of a 1989 rule prohibiting student groups from maintaining bank accounts outside the Institute's accounting system.

"Previously the accounting system that they were using did not function properly," said Undergraduate Associate Treasurer Russell S. Light '98. "Now that they've made major improvements in their system they're strongly encouraging student groups to move there."

The move was met with resistance by many student groups, particularly those who had managed their own finances for many years.

"When I've approached her with concerns, [Allen has] been very willing to sit down and discuss them," Light said. "She's [been a] great assistance."

"In the areas that I worked [with her]... I've always found her to be very helpful and knowledgeable," said John S. Hollywood '96, who has been involved with several UAcommittees.

Williams said that Richard Brewer, manager of administration for the Dean's Office, would head a search committee for Allen's replacement. "We will be running ads soon," said Williams. "The job description is being written now."