I am writing to let you know that Michael Baenen will be leaving his position as Chief of Staff at the end of the academic year. After almost three decades in higher education administration, Michael is looking forward to an opportunity to step back and consider new directions in his professional life. I am personally grateful for his support throughout my tenure and know he will be missed by his colleagues across Tufts.
Michael joined the university in 2007 and soon became a valued partner to academic and administrative colleagues while serving a crucial role as advisor to President Bacow and then myself. In addition to managing the operations of the President’s Office, he took on a wide range of communications and policy responsibilities. He played an especially important role in supporting comprehensive assessments of such challenging issues as freedom of expression, diversity and inclusion, undergraduate student life, and student mental health. He has also represented the President’s Office on a wide range of university policy-making groups, and in numerous senior executive searches.
As Assistant Secretary of the Corporation, Michael has served as a liaison between my office and the Office of the Trustees, gaining the respect of our Board members through his service to the Administration and Finance and Honorary Degree committees of the Board. Michael has also valued the opportunity to work closely with the University Chaplaincy, strengthening its role as an integral part of the President’s Office and positioning it to thrive as a resource for students, faculty, and staff across the university.
I know that one of Michael’s proudest accomplishments at Tufts was helping launch and oversee the Tufts Distinction Awards, which celebrate their “Lucky 13th” anniversary this summer. He has also been actively engaged in our local community through more than a decade of service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Royall House and Slave Quarters historic site in Medford.
I will shortly be launching a search process for Michael’s successor, and we will plan an opportunity at the end of the semester to thank him for his service. In the meantime, I hope that you will join me in thanking Michael for all his many contributions to Tufts.