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Stern to step down from Board of Trustees, replaced by vice chair Dolan

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02


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 The Board of Trustees voted last week to elect Vice Chair Peter Dolan (A’78) as the successor to Board Chair Jim Stern (E 72), who will step down in November after serving on the Board since 1982 and as chair for a decade.

“I think that Tufts is a very special place which I’ve known for a long time, but I’ve grown to believe more and more it’s got a tremendous future with a fantastic leader,” Dolan told the Daily. “I’m really excited about being given the opportunity to contribute to the university as the next chair.”

University President Anthony Monaco announced the leadership transition in an email to the Tufts community yesterday.

“A great university looks to its Board of Trustees for inspiration, guidance and financial stewardship to support its mission and assure its long-term future,” Monaco said. “Tufts University has been fortunate to have such leadership.”

Dolan was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2001 and has since become an important member of the university community, according to Monaco. He graduated from the School of Arts and Sciences in 1978 and is the father of a 2008 Tufts graduate. Dolan said he looks forward to a smooth transition to his new role.

“Jim Stern…has done an unbelievably good job,” Dolan said. “He’s a great friend, and I look forward to working with him to what I think will be a very smooth transition in board leadership.”

Dolan said he plans to being his own approach to “leveraging” the collective experiences of the Board’s 40 members in Tufts’ interest.

“While that objective doesn’t change, maybe how I might go about approaching that in the future will be a reflection of my own experiences, just as the current chair’s was a reflection of his,” he said.

Another key responsibility of the chair is to give advice and support to the President’s initiatives, Dolan said.

“The importance of helping to make sure that the financial resources that are required to deliver on the strategic initiatives the university has is obviously a critical role of the chair and of the complete board,” he explained.

Dolan has been a member of eight Board committees and has led four of them, including the Presidential Search Committee that selected Monaco as the successor of university president emeritus Lawrence Bacow. Stern emphasized transparency during the process of finding a new president for the university, seeking input from across Tufts’ campuses.

“[The search] was a great opportunity to listen to students and administration and faculty across the three campuses and learn more about Tufts,” he said. “I got really good experience at the board level with a variety of assignments that I’ve had.”

His previous leadership roles outside of Tufts include a stint as the CEO of global pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and Chair and CEO of Gemin X, an oncology company, Monaco said. He now serves as a director of Vitality Health and an advisory board member of Valence Life Sciences Fund.

Monaco also noted that Dolan holds other positions at peer schools as a member of the Board of Overseers at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a member of the Board of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

“[Dolan] is the chair of ChildObesity180, a multi-sector alliance of national leaders including Tufts that is committed to reversing the childhood obesity trend, and has helped to raise $16 million for the initiative,” Monaco said in his email. “He is also a board member of the Partnership for a Healthier America; supporters of this nonpartisan nonprofit include honorary co-chair Michelle Obama and some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity advocates.”

Besides running these positions, Dolan also works to improve health through volunteering and donating, Monaco said. He also has run several marathons and triathlons, including the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon in 2007 and the Boston Marathon with his family in 2009.

“As you can see from Peter’s background, he is truly an accomplished leader and an active citizen in the finest tradition of Tufts,” he said.

According to the Office of Trustees’ website, Stern was the youngest person ever to ever receive a position on the Board at the age of 32. Monaco cited Stern’s numerous achievements in raising money for the university, including two campaigns that together raised almost $2 billion.

“He has guided four Tufts presidents, and I count myself extremely fortunate to have had his counsel and support during my first two years at Tufts,” Monaco said.

Lizz Grainger contributed reporting to this article.  

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