Wednesday, May, 3rd, 2023 Speeches and Messages
May 3, 2023
Dear members of the Tufts community,
The university’s Board of Trustees gathered for committee and full board meetings in late January and early February 2023. The plenary sessions offered an opportunity for the trustees to hear about a broad range of topics. Provost Genco provided an update on the changes to the Office of the Provost that will continue to advance Tufts’ academic enterprise and bolster the university’s goals with a more robust organizational structure. She took the opportunity to introduce the Vice Provost for Education, Cigdem Talgar, who joined the university in November and Monroe France, Vice Provost for DEIJ, who started in April.
Board meetings usually feature an update from a school dean and at its plenary in February. The Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Nadeem Karimbux, presented and was proud to share that the school received more applications than any other school in the country and is the most diverse dental school in the country. Dean Karimbux provided university, national, and international data affirming the school as a global leader in oral health whose mission is to “train the world’s dentists.”
Capping off the busy sessions, trustees and their guests heard from a panel of leaders from the TCU Senate that was moderated by trustee Ancy Verdier, D.M.D., A96, D03, DG06 who was himself TCU Senate president. Arielle Galinsky, TCU Vice President, Zachary Ferretti, Parliamentarian, and Krystal Mutebi, Diversity Officer reflected on their experience as Tufts students and as student government leaders.
At the Committee for University Advancement meeting, Senior Vice President Eric Johnson and the Advancement team reported on the encouraging progress of the Brighter World campaign which is nearing its $1.5 billion goal. Nearly every school has already surpassed its campaign goal and the Annual Fund goal of $200 million has already been exceeded. Campaign close events around the country and in London are already well underway. Community and government relations also falls under the purview of the Advancement Committee, and Executive Director for Government and Community Relations Rocco DiRico discussed his role of supporting campus development projects in multiple municipalities.
In addition to its regular business to review and act on tenure and promotion cases, appointments to named professorships, and approving new academic programs, the Academic Affairs Committee heard from Provost Genco about her vision and priorities for the Office of the Provost. Her update from the Boards of Advisors reinforced the fact that those serve as a strategic tool for supporting school and university aspirations.
The university is expected to finish FY23 with strong operating results and the Administration and Finance Committee noted that fiscal controls and high investment yields from the early part of the year helped meet financial targets. Administration provided an update of the 10-year capital budget including near-term strategic priorities and projects focused on the Medford/Somerville campus. Current projects around campus such as the renovation to Eaton Hall, Halligan Hall, and the relocation of the tennis courts is evidence of Tufts’ commitment to its facilities. The committee also discussed external and market forces including inflation and endowment payout that will put pressure on the financial performance of the university in FY24.
Plans are already underway for the board’s agenda later this spring, which we expect to be interspersed with end-of-term and end-of-campaign celebrations. I look forward to celebrating those with you as I finish my final semester as President.