Spring 2012: A semester in review
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 08:04
Associate Professor of Philosophy Nancy Bauer last week was appointed dean of academic affairs in the School of Arts and Sciences. She will assume the position this summer, replacing Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences Andrew McClellan, who will return to teaching in the Art History Department. She will work alongside Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences James Glaser.
At The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Professor of International Politics Vali Nasr (F ’84, LA ’83) is leaving the Hill to take up a post as dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University this summer. Nasr has served on the Fletcher faculty since 2007.
Leila Fawaz, the Issam M. Fares professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies and founding director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, will leave her position as director of the Fares Center at the end of this year. Fawaz plans to return to the faculty and focus on research.
Policy changes on the Hill
The Committee on Student Life (CSL) unanimously agreed to remove any record of a student being on Disciplinary Probation II (Pro II) from his or her transcript at the end of his or her probationary period. This was a dramatic change over the previous policy, wherein students’ Pro II status remained on their transcript for four years after the start of the probationary period, regardless of the length of probation. The new policy also applies retroactively to alumni, who previously could still have the indication of Pro II on their transcripts even if the probationary period started late in their freshman year.
Students also pushed to change the marijuana policy at Tufts this semester in an attempt to separate it from the alcohol policy and bring it more in line with Massachusetts state policy. Although the TCU Senate, Tufts University Police Department, Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman and University President Anthony Monaco approved the policy change, a referendum intended for this election cycle did not go forward after the CSL pointed out that implementation of this change might violate federal policy, causing the university to lose federal funding. Tufts Students for Sensible Drug Policy will continue to push for reform.
TCU branches wrap up semester of initiatives
The TCU Senate in February launched the monthly TCU Newsletter as a means of providing students with relevant information about upcoming events and initiatives within the Tufts community. The first issue was sent in an email to the entire undergraduate student body, and a second was sent to students who opted in to subscribe to later editions.
The TCU Senate in March rejected a resolution that would have encouraged the university and campus groups to interpret the non-discrimination policy in a way that allows religious groups to choose leaders who reflect their views. Several members of the body expressed the belief that the resolution was proposed as a response to controversy surrounding the Tufts Christian Fellowship, which has faced discrimination complaints from students barred from serving on its leadership board.
The TCU Judiciary in February revamped the club re-recognition process in an attempt to clarify which student groups are currently active and to keep all club records current. The new system did not constitute a policy change but instead served to streamline the re-recognition process.
Junior and TCU Vice President Wyatt Cadley was elected TCU President this month over Senator Logan Cotton, also a junior, in a race in which both sides extensively used social media platforms. The election saw a student voter turnout of 49.79 percent, up from last year’s 31 percent, and gave Cadley the win with 60 percent of the total vote to Cotton’s 40 percent.
Admissions rates once again hit an all-time low
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the end of March announced its admissions decisions for Tufts’ Class of 2016, which had an acceptance rate of 21 percent, the lowest in Tufts’ history. Despite an applicant pool slightly smaller than last year’s, the acceptance rate was the second consecutive record low and the third straight year in which the acceptance rate has declined. Fewer students were accepted because of a change in the Office of Admissions’ expected yield rate due to higher-than-expected yield in recent years.
New university programs underway
After years of student and faculty campaigning, the Africana studies major will launch in the fall of 2013 under the umbrella of the new Critical Studies in Disparities and Diasporas (C2D) program.