Activities Coordinator To Depart

The coordinator of student activities was displaced from her post, the College announced yesterday, as the months-long bureaucratic restructuring of University Hall continues.

Susan T. Cooke, who has overseen student groups since 1997, is departing from the administration after Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 eliminated her post.

Paul J. McLoughlin, a counselor at the Office of Career Services (OCS), will take over Cooke’s responsibilities as a new assistant dean overseeing student activities.

McLoughlin, who assumes his post Oct. 6, will report to Acting Associate Dean Judith H. Kidd.

Cooke’s job entailed regular interaction with student group members. She organized the student activities fairs and sat on the Committee on College Life, a student-faculty body charged with ensuring that student groups abide by College rules.


The new deanship was a result of efforts to reduce the administrative burden on Kidd, who also directs Phillips Brooks House.

“I felt we needed to increase the responsibilities of someone in the office who would work exclusively with students on student activities,” Gross wrote in an e-mail. “We had a number of very strong applicants. The search committee felt that Paul had the energy and the experience to do the best job.”

Cooke joins a collection of several veteran administrators who have left University Hall in the past year, including former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68, former Associate Dean of the College David P. Illingworth ’71 and former Assistant Dean of the College Karen E. Avery ’87. Registrar of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Arlene Becella, a close colleague of Lewis, also departed at the end of last year.

“I have loved working with the students of the College,…to be their friend and advocate and coach,” Cooke wrote in an e-mail.

Cooke’s direct interactions with students left many of them with a positive impression of her.

“I am sad to learn that Harvard students will be losing our teacher, advocate and friend in the dean’s office, Susan Cooke,” Undergraduate Council President Rohit Chopra ’04 said. “While the new guard at Harvard communicates through press releases and brochures, Susan was always honest with and respectful of every student leader who sought her assistance. We will truly miss her.”

“I thought she was great,” International Relations Council (IRC) President David K. Kessler ’04 said. “Everything she did to help the IRC turned out great.”

“Our organization will sorely miss her,” said Black Students Association President Olamipe I. Okunseinde ’04, who is also a Crimson editor. “She cares so much about the students. You really feel valued by the University.”

In a press release, the College emphasized McLoughlin’s arrival and did not mention Cooke or the fact that her post had been eliminated.

“In this newly created position, McLoughlin will be a visible figure on campus, meeting with students where they live, work and socialize,” according to the written statement.