Kurt Tauber (1984-1988)

Professor Tauber used the position of Gaudino Scholar as a stimulator of change on campus. He led the formation of a committee whose self-defined mission was to examine critical aspects of the Williams experience, suggest changes, and see to it that the proposals receive serious consideration. In the course of its eight-semester existence, this “Gaudino Committee” researched and developed 22 proposals, 20 of which were publicly debated, defended, and submitted to the relevant college committees or administrators.

Some proposals, like the Freshman Residential Seminars, student-initiated courses, Arts and Science Fair, the international Cultural Festival, the enlargement of the Contract Major program and Related Course Listings, were accepted and, at least temporarily, institutionalized through the regular channels of College governance. Two proposals, for “Summer Project Stipends” and for “Summer Learning Experiences,” were included in the Third Century Campaign.

Professor Tauber also sought to give specific expression to aspects of Professor Gaudino’s legacy, in the form of projects that involved leadership and activism. The most ambitious of these was the “Gaudino Project on Student Leadership and Nonviolent Alternatives,” out of which was to grow the Center for Common Security and “LEAD USA.” The student leaders of this project became the teachers of a successful Winter Study course, entitled “Pedagogy for Empowerment.”

The third student-organized enterprise was a series of “Gaudino Roundtables,” which stimulated significant discussion for two consecutive years.

Early in 1988, Professor Tauber also persuaded Professor Philip Kassinitz, a specialist in the sociology of race and ethnicity, to offer an experimental “Williams-in-New-York” course in the Winter Study Period 1989.