To the Tufts community:
Eileen T. Kennedy, Dean of the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, has announced that she will step down from her position at the end of the academic year. After a sabbatical year spent working on research and an important global nutrition effort, she will return to the faculty at the Friedman School.
Dean Kennedy has taken the Friedman School to new heights of excellence – it is stronger than when she assumed her deanship in 2004, and is now positioned for a brilliant future. She has created a stable financial foundation for the school, secured new resources, and elevated its international reputation. Last month, the Friedman School announced that it was the recipient of a $15 million award from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement a Global Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program focused on multidisciplinary research and action programs in Asia and Africa.
“It has been a privilege to work with Eileen Kennedy to strengthen nutrition at Tufts,” said President Lawrence S. Bacow. “Whether collaborating to establish an innovative distance learning program abroad or on using the Boston Marathon to generate resources to support scholarship on hunger, famine and obesity, I have always found her to be a smart, thoughtful, and strategic academic leader. These same qualities have made her a terrific member of Tufts’ Academic Council, helping us frame and address a full range of issues of university-wide importance. She has also become a good friend as well as a great colleague.”
Under Dean Kennedy?s leadership, the Friedman School collaborated with the government of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates to establish a one-year Master’s degree program focused on nutrition and public health issues and challenges in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. With the support of her faculty and Board of Overseers, she began the Friedman Symposium, an annual forum bringing together academics, policy experts, industry leaders, and others interested in nutritional wellbeing to share ideas and gain knowledge that will affect the direction of policy, advance scientific understanding, and improve the quality of nutrition and physical activity for populations worldwide. Academic excellence at the Friedman School was recently recognized by the National Research Council’s 2010 graduate program assessment, which found our Nutrition Ph.D. program to be among the very best of its kind in the country, and one of the best doctoral programs at Tufts.
Dean Kennedy has also led important internal efforts to add organizational strength to the Friedman School. Two departments – Nutrition Science, and Food and Nutrition Policy – were formed to focus research and curricular activities while facilitating the important interface of science and policy. In addition, a new Office of Academic Initiatives was created to support faculty development and pedagogical innovation. Dean Kennedy has also strengthened the Friedman School financially by prudently managing its budget during the recent economic crisis, and leading the school?s successful efforts to exceed its fundraising goal for the Beyond Boundaries campaign.
I will be convening a committee to advise me on the future challenges and opportunities for nutrition science and policy studies at Tufts, how we can further strengthen synergies around the University, and the leadership that we should seek.
Dean Kennedy’s contributions to Tufts build upon the many important contributions she has made to nutrition policy during her distinguished career in government, the nonprofit sector, and academia. Please join President Bacow and me in thanking Dean Kennedy for her service. We look forward to hearing about her future contributions and to reading the book that she is planning to write next year.
Jamshed Bharucha, Provost and Senior Vice President
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