I write to share that Provost and Senior Vice President Nadine Aubry will step down from her role at the end of this calendar year, December 31, 2021. After a year-long sabbatical, Nadine will return to academic life as a faculty member. While on sabbatical, Nadine plans to focus on her research and on service on national and international boards to further advance the field of engineering, its role at the crossroad of disciplines, and its impact on society.
Nadine is an academic leader of great distinction, and we are grateful for the many contributions she has made to Tufts University as provost. She will leave behind a strong legacy of strengthening education, research, clinical work and civic engagement at Tufts and fostering a strong culture of collaboration across the university.
Over the past 15 months, Nadine played a vital role in the university’s efforts to navigate the COVID pandemic while helping to ensure that the university never lost sight of the importance of our academic mission.
Under her leadership, student applications have increased significantly, a testament to Tufts as a desirable destination for prospective students. This year alone, undergraduate applications grew by 35% and overall applications rose by 25%. In addition, she oversaw a significant growth of revenue-generating programs through University College, which, in collaboration with all the schools, saw a 68% increase in its enrollment this past fall and a growth of 80% of non-matriculated students compared with the previous year.
Nadine has strengthened education at the university in numerous ways, leading an academic strategy initiative with the deans and others to best position Tufts in the broader and rapidly changing higher education landscape. She oversaw the creation of numerous new degrees, certificates and programs across the university in collaboration with the Program Development and Approval Committee and all the deans. In addition, she launched My Tufts Story, an initiative for students across Tufts to submit short videos in which they reflect on their learning experiences while pursuing their interests and aspirations and tackling complex societal issues.
In addition, Nadine completed the dean search for the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and served as co-chair of the task force charged with better aligning research and education efforts between Tufts University and Wellforce Health. Finally, as we all learned about a month ago, during Nadine’s tenure, Tufts was invited to join the Association of American Universities (AAU), a select group of institutions on the leading edge of education, research and innovation.
Nadine has also been instrumental in the advancement of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-racism initiatives for the university. She oversaw the expansion of resources within the Chief Diversity Officer Office, established Associate/Assistant Deans of Diversity and Inclusion positions in all schools in collaboration with the deans, launched the Tufts University Cabinet on DEI cochaired by the CDOs, and led two workstreams as part of the Tufts as an Anti-racist Institution initiative.
I look forward to continuing to work with Nadine over the summer and throughout the fall. An interim provost will be named in the next few months. Once again, I am truly grateful to Nadine for her many contributions to Tufts.