Advancing Diversity and Inclusion at Tufts

March 7, 2012

Dear Members of the Tufts Community,

Tufts University has a long history of commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is one of our proudest traditions and a defining characteristic of the university. This tradition brings very real benefits to our entire academic community. Diversity is inextricably linked to excellence; inclusion is essential so that all members of the community can thrive.

While we can be proud of significant accomplishment in meeting our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we also know that there is more to be done. A shared desire to make further progress came through from my earliest conversations with members of our community. It is evident that we have opportunities to define more clearly the place of diversity in our institutional mission and to strengthen the cultural understanding, awareness, and skills of our students, faculty, and staff. To take advantage of these opportunities, I believe it is important that we work together to renew our institutional commitment, review our accomplishments to date, and develop new approaches to creating a more fully diverse and effectively inclusive community at Tufts.

To this end, I am pleased to announce the formal launch of the new university-wide Council on Diversity at Tufts. I am chairing the Council, and Dean Joanne Berger-Sweeney of the School of Arts and Sciences serves as Vice Chair. The Council is composed of exceptional faculty, students, and staff from across the university, along with two members of our Board of Trustees; a membership list appears below. Dean Berger-Sweeney and I are working collaboratively with the members of the Council to frame a scope of work that will allow the development of strategic recommendations to advance diversity and inclusion across Tufts. As the Council develops recommendations, it will also be thinking about how we can ensure effective implementation going forward, and how we can best measure the success of our collective efforts.

While the Council will be attentive to the changing environment in which American higher education operates, and to opportunities to learn from other institutions, we will focus closely on Tufts in assessing both opportunities to make a difference and how to foster change within the university. The Council will undertake much of its activity through three working groups focusing specifically on administrative structures and policies, the undergraduate student experience, and the graduate and professional student experience. We will be asking additional members to join these working groups in order to broaden and deepen the discussion, and bring our own best expertise to bear on the specific topics under review.

Our community’s passion and commitment are evident in the intellectual life and academic direction of the university. The work of the Council on Diversity will complement the significant activity that is underway at Tufts in these areas. With valuable student input, Dean Berger-Sweeney and her faculty colleagues are developing important new curricular opportunities for our undergraduates to engage in critical studies of disparities and diasporas in a global context. Advancing scholarship and teaching in these areas is also on our agenda as the Provost and I work with the deans and faculty on how best to support interdisciplinary research and graduate education at Tufts.

The Council on Diversity will be able to learn from earlier assessments of diversity and inclusion at Tufts and is fortunate to be able to draw on thoughtful recent recommendations by groups including the Equal Educational Opportunity Committee of the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering. Its work process will be structured to gain input from the community, and we will share draft recommendations with the community for comment before a final report is issued approximately one year from now. I hope you will feel free to share your own suggestions, concerns, and thoughts with the Council by sending a message to councilondiversity@tufts.edu.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco

PLEASE NOTE: The listing below reflects the membership of the Council as of March 2012.

Council on Diversity at Tufts
Council Membership

Anthony Monaco, Chair
President

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Vice Chair
Dean, School of Arts and Sciences

Carol Baffi-Dugan
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering

John Barker
Dean, Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering

Travis Brown
Program Manager—STEM, School of Engineering

Maria Carlota Dao
Ph.D. candidate, Friedman School

Jacqueline Dejean
Associate Director, Research Affairs, School of Arts and Sciences

Luis Del Castillo
Clinical Assistant Professor, Dental School

Jeannie Diefenderfer
Trustee

Julius (Jay) Dodd, A14

Branden Grimmett
Associate Director, Career Services, The Fletcher School

Soha Hassoun
Associate Professor, Computer Science, School of Engineering

James Jennings
Professor, Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning, School of Arts and Sciences

Robert H. Kasberg Jr.
Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Dental School

Patti Klos
Director, Dining and Business Services, Operations Division

Jose Garcia-Lopez
Associate Professor, Cummings School

Corey Mason, E14

Nirupa Matthan
Scientist, Cardiovascular Lab, HNRCA, and Assistant Professor, Friedman School

Sinaia Nathanson
Senior Lecturer, Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences, and Director, Graduate Resources and Development Center

Ellen Pinderhughes
Associate Professor, Child Development, School of Arts and Sciences

Joyce Sackey
Dean, Multicultural Affairs/Global Health, School of Medicine

Janice Savin-Williams
Trustee

Diane Souvaine
Professor, Computer Science, School of Engineering

Rachel Szyman
Program Coordinator, Tisch College

Jeffrey Taliaferro
Associate Professor, Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences

Peter Uvin
Academic Dean, The Fletcher School

Sabrina Williams
Director, Human Resources—Boston & Grafton

Jessica Wilson, A14

Henry Wortis
Professor and Chair, Pathology, Sackler School

Adriana Zavala
Associate Professor, Art and Art History, School of Arts and Sciences