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article imageHarvard University drops 'master' title

By Tim Sandle     Mar 1, 2016 in Odd News
Harvard - The title "master" will no longer be used to denote senior academics at Harvard University due to connotations with the slave trade.
Instead of the archaic term "master," what were formerly called "house masters," who are in charge of residential halls at the university, will now become known as "faculty deans." The name change follows a series of protests on U.S. university campuses about links with colonialism and the legacy of racial oppression. In undertaking the name change, Harvard University is not stating any link to an oppressive past; rather it feels the name to be old-fashioned. There are 24 academics who will require a change to their job title.
Other uses of the word master, such as the advanced degree — "master's degree" — will remain. Many other institutions continue to use master in the academic context (such as many fee paying schools in the U.K., like Harrow)
The change at Harvard was announced by Michael D Smith, dean of the the Harvard faculty of arts and sciences. In writing to students the senior tutor stated: "Never before had the house leaders been so united in their belief that such a change is important to our efforts to create an intellectually, socially, and personally transformative experience for our students."
Later he stressed, as the BBC indicate, the title change was simply a revision to bring terminology up-to-date rather than something having a direct link to slavery. The term, Smith alludes, traces back to the name reserved for heads of household, teachers or chief servants as used by wealthy European families. Nonetheless, at the same time, Harvard Law School is considering a revision to its seal because of an association with the slave trade.
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