Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 62.73
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Tufts University
PAE-2: Strategic Plan

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.00 / 6.00 Patricia Campbell
Executive VP
Office of the Executive VP
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Year the strategic plan or equivalent was completed or adopted:

Does the institution's strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include the environmental dimensions of sustainability at a high level?:

A brief description of how the strategic plan or amendment addresses the environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The strategic plan for the School of Engineering (SOE) lists "environmental sustainability" as one of the three strategic areas for the school. The SOE aims to pursue a "fundamental rethinking of how [they] educate the next generation of environmental professionals" by building partnerships with the School of Arts and Sciences, strengthening the Water: Systems, Science, and Society (WSSS) program, and developing research and education programs that address all aspects of environmental sustainability. They hope that through these initiatives, Tufts can attain national leadership in this area. See details at http://ase.tufts.edu/faculty-committees/ase/executive/strategic-plans/Engg2005.pdf
The Administrative Excellent Plan includes environmental sustainability as one of its key themes. An excerpt: "Tufts strives to approach all resource commitments with a view to sustainability so that decisions are made with an awareness of future resource obligations. This approach brings a discipline that will support our best use of resources and [support] accountability beyond the immediate needs."
The university also has an environmental policy, which applies to the entire university: http://sustainability.tufts.edu/?pid=56&c=35.

Does the institution's strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include the social dimensions of sustainability at a high level?:

A brief description of how the strategic plan or amendment addresses the social dimensions of sustainability:

The main goal put forth by the strategic plan for the School of Arts and Sciences is to advance the number of tenured faculty, especially faculty of color and women in departments in which they are under-represented. The document also identifies 4 main areas of "strength, opportunity, and challenge" for the university: Civic Engagement, Culture and Society, Global Research and Education, and Life Sciences. The document asserts that these 4 areas will be the focus of Tufts' future development. In these commitments to developing Tufts' educational resources, the strategic plan encompasses a key principle of the social dimension of sustainability: that future generations should have the same or greater access to social resources as the current generation.
The Administrative Excellence Plan includes Diversity as one of its key themes. Excerpt:
"Population trends suggest that the demographics of our nation and universities are rapidly changing. We must anticipate and respond proactively to these changes and be prepared to meet these challenges with a workforce that reflects the diversity of our student body and the world in which we live, and that reflects new and distinct ideas, possibilities and perspectives. Our future academic prominence will be determined, in part, by how productive and effective we are at integrating understandings of difference into our educational approaches and traditions. Given that "we are a microcosm of the larger world, complete with many of the same tensions and frustrations" our focus should include understanding the significance of a heterogeneous educational community - one that mirrors, acknowledges, cultivates and sustains a variety of social and cultural values that reflect the changing profile of our complex world."

Does the institution's strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include the economic dimensions of sustainability at a high level?:

A brief description of how the strategic plan or amendment addresses the economic dimensions of sustainability:

Building and supporting research, teaching and scholarship are at the very core of financial sustainability for a university. Without adequate support, programs will falter and fail and the university becomes unable to sustain itself. The Art & Sciences' strategic plan recognizes this need and recommends many ways to enhance support for Tufts priority programs. For example, the strategic plan recognizes that it is vital to "provide competitive fellowships, benefits, and support packages to attract high quality graduate students. Once enrolled, these students also need support for their research efforts and professional advancement, and they must be provided with opportunities to develop their research and teaching skills. Moreover, we need more funds to achieve the diversity in the graduate student body that is the hallmark of true distinction." In order to acquire these resources, Tufts launched its Beyond Boundaries campaign, and raised 1.2 billion dollars in order to make such programs financially sustainable. For more about Beyond Boundaries, see http://giving.tufts.edu/.

In the Administrative Excellence Plan, "Effective and Responsible Financial Management" is also one of the themes. Excerpts: "Tufts takes great pride in its stewardship of financial resources, high credit rating, and increasingly positive balance sheet. Nevertheless, we face many financial challenges raised by the current economic climate." ... "Our decentralized financial structure means that administration across the university is responsible for financial planning, budget formulation, income generation and expense monitoring. All of administration is experiencing the need to find ongoing support for priority academic endeavors. We are sensitive not only to the start up costs of projects but to the ongoing need for resources to sustain and/or replace programs over time."

The website URL where information about the strategic plan is available:

Tufts Medford/Somerville campus (the focus of this report) consists of The School of Arts and Sciences (A&S), the School of Engineering (SOE) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, as well as many of Tufts' central administrative offices, including the offices of the President and Provost. Both A&S and SOE have their own separate strategic plans, which were used to complete this credit.

In addition, the Administrative Council, which is chaired by the Executive Vice President and consists of the Provost and Senior Vice President, Vice Presidents (Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Operations, University Advancement and University Relations), Director of Audit & Management Advisory Services, Associate Provost for Institutional Research & Evaluation, Vice Provost, Executive Director for Planning & Administration, senior administrators of each School and the HNRCA, and the Associate Dean of Tisch College, has a strategic plan (The Administrative Excellence Plan) which is an “university-wide effort to create excellence in administrative leadership and services in support of the teaching, research and scholarship that distinguish Tufts from other institutions of higher learning” This document, adopted in 2008, guides the administrative support aspect of Tufts and was also used to complete this credit.

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