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Former Hammonds Adviser Steps Down from Post in College Administration

By Madeline R. Conway, Crimson Staff Writer

D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, one of former Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds’s close advisers, is leaving her position as College dean for administration, Interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister announced Thursday in an email to colleagues.

Sterritt will step down in mid-September, and the role of interim dean for administration will be filled by Russ Porter, the current administrative dean for science. Porter will transition into the position in early September, according to Pfister’s email.

Although the announcement did not give a reason for Sterritt’s departure, Sterritt wrote in an email Saturday that she has “decided to resign” from her position and that she plans to work on a novel she is writing while reflecting on her “next career move.”

“[T]he College is in good hands, and it’s a good time for me to think about my next move,” Sterritt wrote, praising Pfister, who took the helm of the College in mid-July following Hammonds’s departure. “I have a broad range of professional interests, from French to finance, so I’m looking forward to planning the next adventure while also taking some creative time to work on my novel.”

Sterritt’s departure concludes her second stint at the College. Sterritt first came to Harvard in 1996 and served as assistant dean of freshmen and later associate dean of freshmen. She later left Harvard to work at the University of Pennsylvania and then Stanford before returning to Harvard as dean for administration in 2010.

As dean for administration, Sterritt oversaw human resources, finance, and administration in the College, reporting directly to the Dean of the College. The position was created in 2008 to provide administrative support for Hammonds, who was incoming Dean of the College at the time.

In his email announcing Sterritt’s departure, Pfister called her a “strong advocate for the needs of the College” and cited her work launching the College Committee, which focuses on engaging staff, and leading personnel searches at the College, including the recent search for the new Dean of Student Life. Stephen Lassonde was named to that role in January and has served since he arrived from Brown in March.

Throughout much of Hammonds’s five-year tenure as Dean of the College, Sterritt was one of several members of Hammonds’s so-called Cabinet, an advising body that met twice weekly to discuss College issues. In addition, Sterritt regularly met with Hammonds separately and advised her on human resources, finance, strategic planning, and personnel structures, Sterritt wrote in an email to The Crimson in May 2012.

—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at mconway@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.

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