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Working Goals for 2013-2014 — A Framework for Planning

Each year, the School of Arts and Sciences announces its objectives and the proposed strategies for achieving its ongoing working goals. This is an opportunity for the community, both within and external to Tufts University, to see the work that we will try to move forward in a particular year. Naturally, with a document this brief, we are not able to capture all of the activities and complexity that comprise our School. Instead, we have tried to summarize our most significant projects and activities and indicate those plans to which we will hold ourselves accountable.

These goals represent our commitment to strengthening the intellectual, cultural and financial health of our institution. By publishing them, we invite the A&S community to share in our plans and our work for the year.

Joanne Berger-Sweeney,
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

Overarching Goals

  1. Strengthen a Dynamic Faculty and Enhance our Commitments to Research and Teaching
  2. Support Intentional and Purposeful Curricula, Advising, and Mentoring
  3. Address Facilities and Related Infrastructure Needs, with a Focus on Workplace Efficiencies
  4. Provide Transformative Experiences for Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  5. Support a Diverse and Inclusive Community
  6. Develop a Communications Strategy to Address Priorities
  7. Develop a Sustainable, More Efficient Financial Model
  8. Maintain Accessibility to a Tufts Education
  9. Establish Transparent Leadership and Increase Community Engagement
  10. Build Collaborative Partnerships Beyond A&S

Goal 1. Strengthen a Dynamic and Innovative Faculty and Enhance Our Commitments to Research and Teaching


  • Continue to approve faculty cluster hires to support interdisciplinary programs.
    • History will search in AY 2013-14, as part of the Race and Ethnicity cluster.
    • Economics and Philosophy will search in the Food, Science, and Society cluster in AY 2013-14.
    • Religion will search in the Digital Humanities cluster in AY 2013-14.
    • Determine and announce the cluster topic for AY 2014-15.

  • Clarify faculty workload policies across departments and programs to make them more consistent and transparent.

  • Review the structure, organization, and activities of GSAS to prepare for a search for a new dean in spring 2014.

  • Increase grant and fellowship activity across all disciplines
    • Develop a team of sponsored research administrators who will provide consistent and reliable support for the life cycle of grants and awards.
    • Launch the Dean's fellowship program, designed to seek external funds and to provide a one-semester research sabbatical for associate professors in the humanities and social sciences.
Goal 2. Support Intentional and Purposeful Curricula, Advising, and Mentoring

  • Create a process for reviewing foundation and distribution requirements in the undergraduate curriculum.

  • Working with the Education Policy Committee, design a manner to increase Carnegie credit hours as recommended by our accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

  • Evaluate and respond to recommendations from the following A&S working groups: Online Education; Film and Media Studies; Race and Ethnicity; and the Reviews of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Goal 3. Address Facilities and Related Infrastructure Needs, With a Focus on Workplace Efficiencies


  • Create spaces that encourage collaboration and community among faculty, staff and students and across disciplines and departments.

  • Launch plans for projects identified in the University-wide capital plan: 574 Boston Ave., Tisch Library, a science & engineering building, and an interdisciplinary building. Open a renovated Cohen Auditorium in fall 2013 and create space(s) for late-night programming for students.

  • Implement a new information system for undergraduate admissions and explore its use for GSAS admissions as well; design new recruitment and selection processes in a paperless administrative environment; assess the impact of the new technology on staffing plans and operating budgets.
Goal 4. Provide Transformative Experiences for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

  • Conduct a national search for a new Dean of Student Affairs (DOSA).

  • Implement recommendations from Athletics department external review.

  • Continue to evaluate and implement changes to the undergraduate advising system, and pilot Individual Development Plan (IDP's) for doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars.
Goal 5. Support a Diverse and Inclusive Environment

  • Evaluate and begin to implement the recommendations from President's Diversity Council.

  • Assess the impact of Fisher v. Texas on undergraduate admission practices; amend recruitment and selection policies and practices as necessary to ensure compliance and to preserve the desired diversity profile of each entering class.
Goal 6. Develop a Communication Strategy to Address Priorities

  • Continue to refine the A&S website by creating new content that provides important information and captures the excitement of our campus.

  • Update the current website as we develop long-term strategies with Central Communications to improve the University's web services infrastructure.

  • Strengthen relationships between the A&S Communications Office and departments, programs and divisions across the University.
Goal 7. Develop a Sustainable, More Efficient Financial Model

  • Simplify and rationalize the budget development process.

  • Develop administrative clusters that provide a more consistent and reliable level of support for faculty, students and administrative programs.

  • Increase fundraising for the Tufts Annual Fund, which supports the operating budget.
Goal 8. Maintain Accessibility to a Tufts Education

  • Complete a two-year fundraising campaign for $25M for financial aid and graduate/professional fellowship support.

  • Continue to evaluate and improve BLAST program for first generation students and secure ongoing financial support for the program.
Goal 9. Establish Transparent Leadership and Increase Community Engagement

  • Model transparent leadership by sharing the School's goals with internal and external audiences.
    • Schedule times (on a rotating basis) for the dean to meet with full departments
    • Facilitate more robust discussions and deliberations in A&S faculty meetings
    • Continue bi-annual town meetings with administrative staff
    • Meet annually with members of Tufts Community Union Senate and establish a bi-annual dean's forum to discuss topics of interest and concern with students.
    • Engage faculty committees in decision when possible and appropriate

  • Engage community in the development of a five-year Arts and Sciences strategic plan in 2014 in response to the University-wide strategic plan.

  • Plan a faculty retreat in 2014 focused on graduate education.
Goal 10. Build Collaborative Partnerships Beyond A&S

  • Continue to strengthen our working relationship with the School of Engineering
    • Develop a more integrated model for graduate student admissions and communications with SoE.
    • Work with SoE to develop plans for the new science and engineering building, and programming for the renovation of 574 Boston Ave.
    • Include members of SoE and Tisch College in the A&S strategic planning efforts.

  • Work with School of Nutrition to develop an undergraduate major.
    • SoN faculty members will serve on search committees for the Food, Science and Policy cluster hires.

  • Work with new deans of Fletcher and the Tisch College and other school deans to support common needs and develop programs of mutual interest.