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Message From Leadership

Members of the Tufts Community,

Tufts is a university dedicated to producing the highest levels of research and scholarship (R&S).  R&S are core to our identity and mission–to learn, produce knowledge, and contribute to society–and are foundational to our commitment to being a student-centered research institution.

Securing our strengths and planning our future in R&S requires ideas and efforts from all parts of the University.  It also entails a deep understanding of Tufts’ capabilities, areas in which we can improve, and the opportunities and challenges we face.  Finally, it takes thoughtful planning to implement the vision for Tufts R&S in the years ahead.

We have asked Simin Nikbin Meydani, vice provost for research, to lead this R&S planning effort on behalf of the University.  We have asked her to consult widely and develop R&S priorities that Tufts should consider in making long-term decisions.

Strategic planning is not a routine or frequent undertaking. Ideally it is carried out periodically and looks several years into the future. Following on T10—the University-wide strategic plan approved in 2013—Tufts schools and centers have been conducting their own strategic planning using T10 as a guide. This Tufts R&S planning is intended to build on, not supplant, these school/center efforts, or to prescribe R&S priorities for them. Rather, we’re aiming at overarching, long-term, University-wide priorities that will support our schools and centers. We look forward to your full participation, suggestions, and innovative ideas as we embark on this journey.

Tony MonacoDavid Harris
 Anthony Monaco
President
David Harris
Provost and Senior Vice President

Members of the Tufts Community,

I am happy to have been asked to lead this Research and Scholarship (R&S) strategic planning effort for the University. As vice provost for research, I am responsible for promoting and supporting R&S across Tufts. I consider completion of this strategic planning effort, through a very inclusive process, as a key step toward advancing research and scholarship at Tufts, boosting our global impact, expanding transformative educational experiences for our trainees, and propelling Tufts to where it should be by aligning resources with areas of greatest need, opportunity, and potential impact.

In designing and conducting this planning, we’re following a few principles:

  • Assure a wide and deep Tufts involvement – this planning will draw on information, insights, and recommendations from all parts of Tufts and all levels within our R&S community, including undergrad, graduate, and post-doc students; junior, mid-level, and senior researchers and scholars; administrators supporting the R&S enterprise; alumni; and senior leaders of the University, as well as working groups clustered around issues ranging from global engagement to technology and infrastructure.
  • Examine the internal and external environments – the first part of this planning is aimed at understanding where Tufts excels and where it can be strengthened, along with exploring opportunities, and expectations outside Tufts.
  • Gather information from multiple sources – we will be interviewing, carrying on focus groups, and sending surveys to the constituencies noted above within Tufts and to outside our University with R&S thought leaders, collaborators, funders, and other supporters.
  • Generate information-based recommendations – ideas, insights, and suggestions will be drawn from these multiple sources inside and outside Tufts; assessed against such criteria as building on strengths, developing agreed-on needs, supporting collaborations across disciplines, enhancing Tufts’ reputation and standing, and the University's ability to attract support and attention; and shaped into recommended priorities for areas such as substantive focus, R&S talent, infrastructure, administrative support, and fundraising.

To support this planning effort, we have formed an Executive Committee of senior University leaders; a Steering Committee made up of leaders, scholars, researchers, and students from all schools as well as administrators that support the R&S enterprise; and a Project Team to design and run the planning effort on a day-to-day basis in close consultation with the executive and steering committees.

Simin Nikbin Meydani
Simin Nikbin Meydani
Vice Provost for Research