August 1, 2011
Dear Members of the Tufts Community,
I have been looking forward to this day with great anticipation since I was appointed the 13th president of Tufts University last fall. I am truly honored to join this special community of faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors, parents and friends. Your hard work and allegiance to excellence have defined Tufts as a premier institution of higher education.
As I walked into Ballou Hall this morning, I thought about the 12 presidents who came before me and the extraordinary legacy they have left for all of us to steward. It is at once humbling and energizing.
I am extremely grateful to the university’s trustees for the confidence they have shown in me and to Larry Bacow for his thoughtful advice and counsel over the past eight months. I am especially appreciative to all of you for welcoming me and my family so warmly. I have already learned that this culture of caring embodies the true spirit of Tufts.
Now we begin a great adventure together. I realize that some amount of apprehension is inevitable with any change in leadership. I want to assure you that my style is to work transparently and to build consensus. And I am certain that we all share a common aspiration: to ensure that Tufts University remains an exceptional place to learn, teach, work, pursue research and scholarship and engage widely as active citizens. We all wish for all our students on every campus to have the best possible experience while they are here, and then to remain involved with Tufts once they leave to go out and make their mark on the world.
I believe Tufts is singularly equipped to find creative and thoughtful ways of addressing some of the great challenges facing our world. I welcome the opportunity to work with you as we take on those challenges. So where do we begin? I believe that thoughtful listening followed by strategic planning is the indispensable foundation of good leadership, and that is where I will put my focus in the coming months. I do want to hear from as many of you as possible—your ideas, concerns and dreams for Tufts—as I embark on my listening tour as a student of the university community. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I already have met many of you during my visits to the Medford/Somerville, Boston and Grafton campuses last fall and at events in London and at Oxford this winter. More recently, I have connected with others in the Tufts community through the social media channels LinkedIn and Twitter. I am eager to meet many more of you as I crisscross our three campuses in the weeks and months ahead. And I am looking forward to getting to know our alumni, friends and parents as I take part in events around the world during the coming year.
The start of each academic year is a time of high energy and high expectation. Never have I looked forward to a new year more than this, the one we begin together here at Tufts.