Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.61
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

Tufts University
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 3.00 Mike Howard
Executive Vice President
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which the following stakeholders can regularly participate in the governance of the institution?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Academic staff Yes
Non-academic staff Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal participatory or shared governance bodies:

The governance structure at Tufts University consists of a Board of Trustees, a Faculty Senate, and multiple student governments from each of the schools on campus.

Undergraduate Tufts Student Union (TCU)- https://www.tcu.tufts.edu/
Student life at Tufts is established by the TCU Constitution, which directs and regulates student government, student organizations, and the funds raised by the activities fee. TCU Senate is the main governing body for Tufts undergraduate students. It's mission statement is:
"It shall be the mission of the TCU Government to represent the interests and desires of the TCU to the faculty of the undergraduate colleges, administration, and the Trustees of Tufts College; and regulate, advocate, and provide support for student organizations."

Graduate Student Union: Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and the SEIU Local 509 worked cooperatively to reach agreement on a five-year contract involving doctoral students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
https://as.tufts.edu/academics/graduate-school-arts-and-sciences/union-resources-gsas-doctoral-students

Graduate students in other schools have representation through councils. Here is 1 example:
- Fletcher School Student Council
https://fletcher.tufts.edu/students-alumni/student-council-committees
Elected each year by you and your peers, the Student Council serves as a forum for students to engage in dialogue with the administration about issues on campus. The Student Council also oversees student groups and allocates funding to each organization. The Student Council represents the entire student body and is comprised of three first-year representatives, three second-year representatives, and one PhD student representative.
Information about other councils can be found at the links below:
- Friedman Student Council
https://nutrition.tufts.edu/students/student-council
- Tufts School of Medicine Student Council
https://medicine.tufts.edu/student-life/life-campus/student-organizations/md-student-council-bylaws
- Public Health and Professional Degree Senate
https://medicine.tufts.edu/student-life/life-campus/student-organizations/phpd-student-government
- Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Council
https://gsbs.tufts.edu/student-life/graduate-student-council-student-groups

Faculty Council - https://facultysenate.tufts.edu/
The Senate provides faculty representation from all Schools of the University “in order to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of the governance of the University."

Some schools also have their own faculty advisory boards, for example:

The Schools of Arts and Sciences and of Engineering (AS&E) have a Faculty Advisory Board for Administration. The function of the Faculty Advisory Board for Administration is to conduct periodic reviews of senior administrators in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.
https://asefaculty.tufts.edu/faculty-governance/faculty-committees/faculty-advisory-board-administration

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: https://tufts.app.box.com/v/bylaws-grad-as
The Faculty Committee on Policy and Programs consists of seventeen or more persons,
including the Academic Vice-President, the Dean of the School, and fifteen other
members of this Faculty appointed by the President on the basis of recommendations by the Committee on Committees after its consultation with Departmental Chairmen
and the Dean. Appointments are made in such a way that all departments in this
Faculty will be represented in rotation for three-year periods.
The Committee shall consider and report to the Faculty on the adoption, modification, and abrogation of courses, curricula, and faculty policies. The Committee may authorize and approve particular actions which it considers not inconsistent with faculty policies. Notices of major items on the agenda of the Committee, and recommendations by the Committee to the Faculty, shall be circulated to the entire Faculty.

Six unions for staff exist at the university which create collective bargaining agreements with the University for their members.
https://access.tufts.edu/collective-bargaining-agreements


Total number of individuals on the institution’s highest governing body:
34

Number of students representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
4

Number of academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
0

Number of non-academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
0

Number of women serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:
18

Percentage of official members of the highest governing body that are women:
52.94

Website URL where information about the institution’s highest governing body may be found:
Does the institution host or support one or more formal bodies through which external stakeholders have a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them?:
No

A brief description of the campus-community council or equivalent body that gives external stakeholders a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them:

In Boston
Before Tufts University starts any new campus projects or update our Institutional Master Plan in Boston, we meet with our Community Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of neighbors, local nonprofit leaders, and elected officials. The Task Force makes recommendations, and the University incorporates this input into our future plans. Support from the Task Force is essential to the university’s plans getting approved by the City of Boston.

In Medford, Tufts hosts multi-stakeholder gatherings one or more times a year to engage community members on changes to the university that affect their community as the university is spread across multiple communities throughout the state of Massachusetts. Some examples of recent meetings:

Tufts University held a community meeting on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 5pm for our Medford neighbors to discuss two new housing projects at 2-4 Capen Street and 50 Winthrop Street in Medford. In order to increase the number of undergraduate students housed on campus the university intends to deconstruct the houses at both properties and build apartment style housings for Juniors and Seniors, supervised by a graduate student residential director. These two projects will be part of our Community Housing (CoHo) development that already has houses on Winthrop Street, Capen Street, Bellevue Street, Fairmount Street, and University Avenue. The event was held on Zoom and was open to the public. After the presentation, neighbors participated in a question and answer session. Viktor Schrader, the Economic Development Director for the City of Medford, attended the meeting on behalf of the city.

Tufts University held a community meeting on Thursday, February 10th, 2022 at 6pm for our Medford neighbors to discuss a renovation project that will impact Huskins baseball field on College Avenue in Medford. In order to increase the use of Tufts’ baseball field, the university intends to replace the grass playing surface with turf this summer. The university also plans to add lights to the field. The proposed changes will allow the university to host more events for Tufts baseball, intramural sports, and Medford youth sports. Providing more flexible uses of the field will benefit both the city and the university. The event was held on Zoom and was open to the public. After the presentation, neighbors participated in a question and answer session. Alicia Hunt, the Director of Planning, Development and Sustainability at the City of Medford, attended the meeting on behalf of Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn.

Tufts University held a Community Meeting on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 for our Somerville neighbors to discuss a new project on Lower Campus Road in Somerville. Tufts University intends to replace the grass playing surface of the football field with turf using organic, sustainably sourced infill material. The university also plans to add lights and a scoreboard to the area surrounding the field. The event was held on Zoom and was open to the public. This meeting was hosted by Somerville Ward 6 City Councilor Lance Davis. After the presentation, neighbors participated in a question and answer session.

Tufts University held a Community Meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021 to give our Medford/Somerville neighbors a recap of our fall semester, provide information on our spring 2021 semester plans and answer questions.

Tufts University held a Community Meeting on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 to inform community members about the fall 2020 semester plans and to provide an overview of new safety guidelines. The event was held over Zoom and was open to the public. After the presentation, neighbors participated in a question and answer session.


Number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body.:
13

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The board appoints and conducts an annual appraisal of the president. The board consists of no more than 41 members—up to 30 board-elected charter trustees and 10 alumni trustees elected by and from the alumni—and generally operates at or near that number. Each trustee is elected for a five-year term may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, and may then be reelected after a one-year hiatus. The chair, vice chairs, and members of standing committees and subcommittees are elected annually, serving for one year or until successors are elected. The chair and vice chairs and any trustees serving as a fundraising campaign co-chair may be reelected for one-year terms without hiatus. The Committee on Trusteeship reviews the board’s composition annually to ensure that it reflects the backgrounds and expertise needed to govern Tufts. New trustees are oriented and mentored to ensure that they understand, accept, and fulfill responsibilities as fiduciaries, acting honestly and in good faith to realize Tufts’ mission and purposes. All trustees and voting committee members complete a conflict-of-interest statement annually. Potential conflicts are reported to the Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee and the university’s external auditing firm. Except for the president, no trustee receives financial remuneration for service.

The board meets at least three times each year, the Executive Committee approximately five times, and other committees meet periodically on a set schedule and as needed. The Executive Committee acts on behalf of the board between meetings. Each board meeting includes an executive session without the president and staff and another with the president but without senior officers, to provide for frank discussion. So that all trustees are informed on a wide range of issues, each committee chair reports regularly to the full board. Members of the administration report regularly with the committee chair to appropriate committees. At most board meetings, administrators are regularly invited to make presentations at plenary sessions.

The university also benefits from the perspectives of non-fiduciary groups. The Board of Trustees oversees the Boards of Advisors, a group of 10 volunteer boards that advise, assist, and act as ambassadors for the school, department, or program to which its appointment relates. The Boards of Advisors report directly to the provost and are coordinated by the Council of the Boards of Advisors, which generally includes each board chair and the school dean or program director. Many trustees and former trustees serve as advisors. Through the Council of the Boards of Advisors, the trustees’ Executive Committee approves or is notified of all advisors’ membership and approves all minutes of advisors’ meetings.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.