Background: The Working Group on Campus Safety and Policing is one of several workstreams within Tufts’ strategic priority to become an anti-racist institution. The university is well-positioned to do this work at this time. Over the last year, under the leadership of our Interim Chief, Chip Coletta, the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) has engaged Margolis Healy, a leading national consultancy for campus safety, to assess all aspects of the TUPD operation. Many actions have already been taken to strengthen the department in key areas such as policies and procedures, training, recruiting, partnership with key university departments, and community engagement. The Working Group will now have the opportunity to build on this work and develop a clear strategic direction for the department, with clear organizational expectations, that can then be implemented by a new, permanent chief.
Leaders: Mike Howard, Executive Vice President, Co-Chair
Rob Mack, Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, Co-chair
Sarah Biggers, Associate Director Continuing Education SMFA/University College
Alida Bogran-Acosta, OEO Investigator, Office of Equal Opportunity
Rocco Dirico, Director, Community Relations, University Relations
Dana Fleming, Associate General Counsel, University Counsel
Hope Freeman, Director, LGBT Center
John-Mark Gladstone, Student, Fletcher, ‘21
Jaime Givens, Student, AS&E, ‘23
Mark Gonthier, Executive Associate Dean, Dental School
Maren Greathouse, Associate Director, Diversity and Inclusion
Nicole Holland, Dir. Health Community, Edu & Promotion, Dental School
Mike Howard (Co-chair), Executive Vice President
Eric T. Lin, Dental Student, ‘23
Camille Lizarribar, Dean of Student Affairs, AS&E
Kalimah Knight, Deputy Director, Communications and Marketing
Rob Mack (Co-chair), Chief Diversity Officer of Medford/Somerville/SMFA campuses, Associate Provost
Shirley Mark, Director of Community Partnerships, Tisch College
Colin Simmons, Sr. Capital Project Manager, Construction
Sam Sommers, Professor, Department of Psychology
Barb Stein, Vice President, Operations
Lidya Woldeyesus, A22
The Charge: To advise the President and Tufts’ administration, the Working Group will:
Evaluate the suitability of Tufts’ current campus safety and policing operating model in the evolving wider context of anti-racism and police reform.
Recommend changes to our current model that will better ensure the safety and well-being of our community members and make it fully consistent with our core values.
Identify specific actions that can be taken that would have an immediate, positive effect on our community, and build momentum toward our long-term objectives and strategy.
Develop a framework and structure for ensuring that our campus safety and policing functions remain responsive to the needs of our community, aligned with the University’s core values, and provide the accountability and transparency needed to maintain the trust and support of the Tufts community.
Key Questions to Be Addressed:
What does safety mean for our community members?
What are the main functions that need to be performed to create a safe environment on our campuses?
How and by whom should these safety functions be performed?
What functions must be performed by sworn law enforcement officers?
Do officers need to be armed to keep our community safe?
The Working Group will:
Use this process to expand discussion of these complex, critical issues to include all members of the community.
Have a mechanism, such as an idea bank, to allow community members to contribute their experiences and suggestions.
Leverage existing research and innovative practices to inform our work.
Recognize that because of the importance of this work, it owes the community a commitment to transparency and regular communications on the progress of the working group.
Timeline and Deliverables:
Preliminary report by November 1, 2020 that includes initial findings on all elements of the charge.
A final report that incorporates feedback from the President and the administration by December 1, 2020.
Regular progress reviews with the President and administration should occur throughout this process.
Specific recommendations that can be implemented and deliver positive results early (before the preliminary and/or final report) are strongly encouraged and should be included for approval in the regular progress reviews.