Ivy League Universities Drop The Term ‘House Master’ From Titles

Some Ivy League Universities have gotten rid of the title ‘Master’ for residential college heads and Yale is weighing whether to change it. The push came about following protests around the country as colleges moved to address student concerns about inclusiveness and the racial climate on campuses.

Harvard announced last week that it plans to change the term “house master” for a new title to be determined later.

At Yale, the current debate picked up with an email from Stephen Davis, a professor who has been known as head of Pierson College since rejecting the title of master. In August, according to the Yale Daily News, he wrote to his college, “I think there should be no context in our society or in our university in which an African-American student, professor or staff member – or any person, for that matter – should be asked to call anyone ‘master.’

Princeton administrators announced last month that the masters at its six colleges had decided to drop a title they described as anachronistic and historically vexed.

“We believe that calling them ‘head of college’ better captures the spirit of their work and their contributions to campus residential life,” Dean Jill Dolan said.

Why is this even a discussion? Thoughts?


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