Provost and Senior Vice President
Ballou Hall, Medford
David R. Harris was Provost and Senior Vice President as of July 1, 2012. As Provost, he is the chief academic officer of Tufts University, overseeing eight schools as well as multiple cross-school programs, centers, and initiatives. The Office of the Provost is responsible for setting institutional and budgetary priorities that advance the University’s mission. This team ensures that our education and research programs are of the highest quality by working closely with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to fulfill the University’s goals and aspirations. The Office of the Provost is also responsible for the library system, international and industry collaborations, and the ten Boards of Advisors.
Prior to becoming Provost, Dr. Harris served as Senior Associate Dean, Deputy Provost, Vice Provost for Social Sciences, and Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. As Deputy Provost at Cornell he focused on a number of key Provost Office priorities, including academic planning, admissions and financial aid, and diversity. As Vice Provost for Social Sciences he was responsible for leading the development and implementation of university-wide efforts to enhance the social sciences, and for providing a social sciences perspective on Cornell policies and priorities.
In 2010-2011, Dr. Harris also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he led the Office of Human Services Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).
Dr. Harris has broad research interests in social stratification, race and ethnicity, social identity, and other areas of public policy. His work has applied theories from sociology, economics, and psychology to empirical studies of racial and ethnic disparities in socioeconomic status, the fluidity of race, and racial and nonracial determinants of residential mobility. In addition to publications in academic journals, public policy outlets, and major national newspapers, he is editor of The Colors of Poverty: Why Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist (Russell Sage Foundation 2008), and the lead author of Eliminating Racial Disparities in College Completion and Achievement: Current Initiatives, New Ideas, and Assessment (Teagle Foundation 2006).
Dr. Harris holds a B.S. in Human Development and Social Policy, and a Ph.D. in Sociology, from Northwestern University. He was named President of Union College in 2018.