A commitment to transformational student experiences is one of Tufts’ hallmarks as a university. At the undergraduate level, this means that we seek to provide not only a rigorous academic experience and active engagement with civic life, but also a residential and campus experience that supports students’ well-being, personal growth, leadership development, and sense of community.
I know that our students, faculty, and staff are all committed to further strengthening undergraduate student life at Tufts in 2017–18 and beyond. Today, I am delighted to share with you the full report of the Student Life Review Committee, as well as a message from Dean of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon about the plans for implementing the committee’s recommendations, and a new Student Life Review Committee website to learn more and share your ideas. As I shared in June, the committee conducted a comprehensive review of undergraduate student life last spring and developed important recommendations across seven key areas—Safety and Well-Being, Diversity and Inclusion, Campus-Wide Community, First-Year Experience, Residential Experience, Greek Life, and Space. My senior colleagues and I support the committee’s recommendations and are dedicated to working collaboratively with the community, in the short and long term, to enhance student life at Tufts. I will personally chair an oversight committee that will review implementation of the committee’s recommendations.
I look forward to continued engagement with the entire Tufts community about how to best implement the committee’s recommendations. The dean of student affairs will establish several regular feedback channels, including student forums, focus groups, and an online “idea bank” for students to share suggestions about the recommendations. Dean McMahon’s letter outlines initial plans to implement the recommendations—including many projects already launched this summer. Returning students will notice many new initiatives, new faces, and other changes on campus this fall, from remodeled Residential Life and Learning to new social spaces.
I would like to thank the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members who served on the Student Life Review Committee. Their thorough and thoughtful work offers Tufts an opportunity to more fully achieve our mission as a student-centered research university. Working together, we will build on their recommendations to enhance the contribution that co-curricular life makes to our students’ well-being, personal growth, and depth of connection to a vibrant Tufts community.