Housemasters / Faculty Residents

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They were the ultimate "adult supervision" in the dorm.

They fed us non-commons food, which was always a welcome change from the stuff in the dining hall...

And we knew — deep down — that they would help get us out of a jam if we did something really, really stupid...


1951 - 1953 Dean Frederick G. Fassett, Jr. & Mrs. Julie Fassett
1953 - 1957 Professor Samuel J. Mason & Mrs. Jean Mason
Spring 1957 - appx Dec 1960 Professor Norman N. Holland '47 & Mrs. Jane Holland
appx Jan 1961 - 1962 Professor Alar Toomre
1962 - 1968 Professor E. Lee Gamble
1968 - 1969 Professor Isadore Amdur
1969 - 1980 Professor M. Nafi Toksoz & Mrs. Helena Toksoz
1980 -1989 Professor Harald A. T. O. Reiche & Mrs. Irene Reiche
1989 - 2005 Professor William B. Watson & Mrs. Myra Harrison-Watson
2005 - 2011 Professor Dava Newman & Mr. Guillermo Trotti
2012 Professor Jeff Hoffman & Mrs. Barbara Hoffman
2013 - present Professor Dava Newman & Mr. Guillermo Trotti

SEPT.21, 1951

Faculty Residents Move To
Baker, East Campus Houses

To assist the donmitory student at times of need, the Institute administration has this year adopted a plan of having at least one faculty member residing in each dormitory unit.  Professor Frederick G. Fassett, Jr. and his family are now living in Baker House in the Master Suite, which needed no alterations; Professor S. Curtis Powell, with an assistant, has moved into a recently remodeled suite in Munroe on East Campus; and Professor John Rule and his family plan to more into Burton House as soon as their apartment is completed.





from the 1987 Report of the Housemaster-Tutor Program Review Committee:

In his "Memorandum on House Master System" dated January 1953, Frederick Fassett, Jr., after completing a one-and-one-half-year stint as Faculty resident in Baker House writes:


"I am convinced that we need for each group of roughly 300 students a stronger focal point of mature responsibility and guidance and that all but the inevitable fanatic fringe among undergraduates realize this fact. The present system is a practical step in the right direction, but only a partial step. I think we need no longer be worried over the connotations of the term "Master"; the time has to proceed from the appendage status of the Faculty Resident to the leadership status of the Master of the House."

Dean Fassett's specific qualifications for the Housemaster, his wife and children, as well as his vision for the need of graduate residents, offer additional and somewhat wry insights into the initial intent of the program:

"The post of Master should, I believe, be held by a mature married man without young children, in good physical trim, armed with a wife who is sympathetic toward youth, vigorous in health and optimistic in disposition. In terms of teaching load and other responsibilities, it should be regarded as from one-third to one-half of a full undertaking. Consideration should be given in years to come to the possibility of accommodating in each unit two or three carefully chosen graduate teaching assistants to carry part of the task of general counseling and guidance not to serve as proctors."

DECEMBER 20, 1957

The main topic of discussion in House Committees of Burton and Baker House on Wednesday, December 18, 1957 was the newly proposed Housemaster plan. Judson James '59 explained the plan to the members of the Baker House Committee while Lewis Cohen '58 explained the plan to the Burton House Committee. Because of the infant state of the plan not much discussion followed. Baker House Committee intends to invite some member of the faculty, who knows about the plan, to come and explain it further and in detail.


When did Junior Faculty Residents first move in?

When did Junior Faculty Residents (a/k/a "Senior Tutors") first move in?
Prof Holland says he didn't have a Junior Faculty Residents, and the Hollands left after AY 1959-60.
The "THE FRESHMAN'S CONFIDENTIAL GUIDE TO BAKER HOUSE" from the fall of 1963 makes passing mention of a "junior faculty member" acting as a resident tutor.
So the change-over was somewhere in-between...


Random Pictures

2006-06-09 20-43-202009-07-04 22-58-54Ray-aalto 5Pg116