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In his first message to the Tufts community after taking office, President Monaco said, “I believe that thoughtful listening followed by strategic planning is the indispensable foundation of good leadership, and that is where I will put my focus in the coming months.”

In October 2012, Tufts launched “Tufts: The Next Ten Years,” a university-wide strategic planning process. “This is an opportunity for us, as a community, to envision a trajectory for Tufts—where it needs to be, and should be, in a decade’s time,” said President Monaco, who has asked Provost David R. Harris to lead the initiative. “Strategic planning will allow us to take advantage of the opportunities available to us and to address those challenges that could impede our progress.” The goal is to finalize the strategic plan by the fall of 2013.

“The process of creating a strategic plan allows you to learn more about yourself as an institution,” said Monaco in a Q&A when the planning process was announced. “We will engage with the community—faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees, advisors and friends—to come up with a direction we believe is important and meaningful for Tufts. The final strategic plan document is obviously important, but I think the process of getting there is equally important.”

At the same time, the university also plans to undertake a comprehensive assessment of its administrative effectiveness. The TEAM initiative—Tufts Effectiveness in Administrative Management—will ensure that Tufts delivers services in the most efficient way possible and uses its resources prudently to preserve and enhance its mission of teaching and research.

President Monaco has noted that the university community is truly passionate about its commitments to both diversity and sustainability. “Those are commitments I share,” he has said, “and it is up to all of us to work together to sustain our momentum.” Accordingly, the President has convened university-wide Councils to make recommendations on how Tufts can advance sustainability and diversity on its campuses.

The President chairs the Council on Campus Sustainability; Executive Vice President Patricia Campbell serves as Vice Chair. The Council first met at the end of January 2012 and was announced to the university community shortly thereafter.

The Council on Diversity at Tufts convened at the end of February 2012. It is chaired by the president with Dean Joanne Berger-Sweeney of the School of Arts and Sciences as Vice Chair.

President Monaco is also committed to increasing the impact of Tufts research and education on the great challenges of the 21st century. Recognizing that solutions to many of these challenges will require collaborations across traditional academic disciplines and among Tufts’ schools, he is working with the Provost, Deans, and faculty to assess and strengthen Tufts’ work in critical thematic areas. President Monaco presented his thoughts on interdisciplinary science at Tufts in the context of a future university strategic plan in a presentation in late January 2012.