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Dear colleagues,

I hope you had a restful winter break and had an opportunity to spend time with family and friends and recharge.

I would like to echo President Kumar’s sentiments that the break offered a chance to reflect on the past semester and the strength of our community, and I myself have used this time to think about how to better support our faculty, students, and staff.

As we begin this semester, I wanted to share some upcoming opportunities for you to engage with me and the Provost’s Office team, and to update you on some of our key initiatives.

Faculty Engagement

This year, I hope to meet more of you and hear about your experiences as a Tufts faculty member: your concerns, ideas, questions, challenges, joys, and experiences in teaching, research, and service to the community. As a fellow faculty member, I understand firsthand how much time and effort you all dedicate to your work, and supporting you is central to my work as Provost. In our office, we strive to cultivate an inclusive environment where faculty can thrive in their teaching, research, and scholarship throughout all stages of their career.

To better understand the spectrum of faculty experiences and enhance our offerings for faculty, it is crucial to hear from you. I will be holding drop-in office hours with faculty on each campus this spring. I hope you will save the date and join me:

  • SMFA: January 31, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and April 4, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Location: Room B201, Dean’s Suite Conference Room
  • Grafton: February 20, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and April 9, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
    • Location: Dean’s Conference Room
  • Boston: February 21, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and April 17, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Location: Office of the Vice Provost for Research Conference Room, 75 Kneeland Street, Suite 950
  • Medford/Somerville: February 22, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and April 16, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
    • Location: Ballou Hall, Room 311

We will also be holding an evening reception for all faculty on February 15 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on the Boston campus (Dental Alumni Lounge, Room 1514, 1 Kneeland St). Importantly, the evening provides a chance to connect with faculty across schools and campuses, as well as my team in the Provost’s Office. Kindly RSVP here. 

Faculty Initiatives

  • Vice Provost for Faculty Search: The search committee has been working diligently over the past few months and have identified a talented group of semi-finalists. In the coming weeks, these candidates will be on campus to interview with other members of our community. We hope to bring this search to a close in the next month.
  • Connecting the Community of Tufts Scholars-Cluster Hiring Updates: We are excited to continue our faculty cluster hiring program, CCTS. Five faculty searches for our first cluster focused on climate are underway, and we are now working to identify the second cluster theme and hope that you will join us in these efforts. All faculty regardless of whether or not you submitted a proposal, are welcome to participate in virtual Cluster Theme Workshop on January 25 at 10 a.m. Facilitated by the CCTS team, the workshop will gather additional input on the proposed themes submitted by your colleagues. Your participation will help shape the second cluster theme, which will be announced on February 12.
  • Tufts Talks Openly: Building Awareness and Knowledge and Nurturing an Inclusive Community: As I wrote to the community on December 18, in this time of intensified antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Arab sentiments, and anti-Palestinian sentiments, as well as other forms of bias, Tufts is actively committed to combating all these forms of racism and hostility with a thoughtful and considered approach.As an institution of higher education, our mission and values also require our continued commitment to bring more understanding, perspective, and civil dialogue into discourse about the conflict between Israel and Hamas, starting on our own campuses.This semester, we will be launching Tufts Talks Openly, a new program focused on building awareness and knowledge and nurturing an inclusive community. We are in the planning phases now and look forward to sharing more details with the community in the coming weeks. The programming will include faculty- and staff-led panels focused on the human dimensions of the conflict, anti-hate and discrimination trainings, and inclusive dialogue programming.
  • Inclusive Teaching Seminar, “Engaging in Difficult Conversations”: Our Inclusive Teaching Seminar series continues with Dr. Liza Talusan’s interactive workshop, “Engaging in Difficult Conversations” on February 6 from 12-1:30 p.m. in the Joyce Cummings Center Lantern Room (Rm, 601). Dr. Talusan will explore how identity informs and impacts our learning environments and effective strategies for navigating these tensions in our professional and personal spaces. Learn more and register here.  

I am excited for this semester and look forward to connecting with more of you in the coming months, whether it’s at one of our upcoming events or in the halls on one of our campuses. I also hope you will take a moment to get to know the entire Provost team and let us know how we can best support you.

Warm regards,Caroline

Caroline Attardo GencoProvost and Senior Vice President