As the academic year drew to a close, the members of our Board of Trustees met May 15-18 for regularly scheduled meetings and special events. This was a notably active and productive year across Tufts, and in reviewing highlights of the academic year with the full Board, it was a privilege for me to recognize the extraordinary quality of faculty who were hired or promoted this year, and the range of achievements in research and scholarship across Tufts.
At its regular meeting, the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee discussed progress on the implementation of the T10 Strategic Plan and considered the university’s evolving international strategy. The continued generous support of alumni and friends will be critical in helping the university achieve its goals going forward. The Board weekend included the inaugural meeting of a new Campaign Planning Committee, charged with assessing opportunities for Tufts to engage with donors through a potential capital campaign.
As they are each May, the university’s operating and capital budgets were important topics for the Board and a number of its committees. The Board approved the university’s budget for the coming fiscal year and discussed progress on the TEAM initiative, which will help us address the financial challenges posed by rising expenses and constraints on revenue growth.
Acting on the recommendation of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Administration and Finance Committee approved capital expenditures including the final phase of construction and fit-out at 574 Boston Avenue as well as design funding for the new Science and Engineering Complex and a proposed new Campus Energy Plant, both on the Medford/Somerville Campus, and a planned renovation of the Foster Small Animal Hospital in Grafton. These projects will advance our academic goals and support campus operations in ways that promote sustainability as well as efficiency.
The weekend also offered opportunities to discuss Tufts’ commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. In its Friday plenary session, the full Board reviewed educational and research issues including technology transfer and plans for the Tufts Institute for Innovation. The University Advancement Committee discussed how the university will connect undergraduates to alumni for career development and exposure to professional resources.
The Trustees accomplished a great deal over the course of a busy few days and then participated actively in alumni reunions and the university’s 158th Commencement exercises and related activities. I am truly grateful to them for their service to Tufts and their presence in our university community.