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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 26, 2024

News | Unversity


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University

Colleen Ryan appointed as vice provost for faculty

Colleen M. Ryan will assume the role of vice provost for faculty on July 1, Provost Caroline Genco announced in an email on Thursday. Ryan currently serves as associate vice provost for faculty at Indiana University Bloomington, where she is a professor of Italian and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Gender Studies.



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University

Tufts holds 2024 Commencement; protesters walk out in solidarity with Palestine

Undeterred by rain, families and guests of the Class of 2024 turned out to Tufts’ 168th commencement ceremony on Sunday. After opening remarks by University President Sunil Kumar, students heard from this year’s keynote speaker, Durham University chancellor Fiona Hill. Shortly after the start of the ceremony, around 100 students walked out and assembled outside the event gates, leading chants and demanding that Tufts disclose its financial holdings and divest from Israeli companies.




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University

Timeline of 2023–24 student activism for divestment from Israel

Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and the subsequent bombing and ground invasion in Gaza sparked widespread protests and activist demonstrations on campuses across the country, including at Tufts University. Throughout the last eight months, students have urged Tufts to divest from its Israeli connections and acknowledge a genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. The following article provides an overview of recent activism on campus.



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University

SMFA professors of the practice hold first contract negotiations

Professors of the practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts held their first-ever bargaining session with the university on April 24, seeking a contract that would guarantee wage increases, enhanced research support and more transparent employment policies, among other negotiations. This marks the first time that SMFA professors of the practice have initiated a bargaining agreement since Tufts merged with the SMFA in 2016.





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University

Faculty told to prepare for upcoming budget cuts

Due to budget challenges at the university level, administrators and deans of the Schools of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering have instructed faculty to prepare for budget cutting measures that will aim to address financial challenges forecasted in the fiscal year ahead.


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University

Will Tufts follow in other universities’ footsteps with an AI major?

In February, the University of Pennsylvania announced it will begin offering an artificial intelligence major, open for enrollment in fall 2024. The major will be offered through Penn’s School of Engineering. Several other universities have announced AI-specific degree programs in recent years; MIT began offering one in fall 2022 and Carnegie Mellon has had one since fall 2018. Although Tufts computer science students have the option of focusing their studies on AI, Tufts currently does not offer an AI-specific degree program, but that could change in the future, according to Kyongbum Lee, dean of the School of Engineering. When developing new AI-based courses, he hopes to focus on ethics in computing and “how to make AI curriculum more accessible” to all students, rather than just those pursuing math-based degrees.





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University

‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’ enters third day under trespass warning

The “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” has grown, despite the university’s warning on Tuesday that protesters will be considered trespassing if they do not leave the Academic Quad. Now, almost 50 tents and a makeshift barrier built from tables, chairs and other items surround the encampment’s “Apartheid Wall.” Student protesters, who erected the encampment on April 21, have previously vowed to remain on the quad and continuously demanded the university heed calls for Israeli divestment.



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University

In university-wide email, Tufts leadership demands that protesters take down ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment’

In an email sent to Tufts community members on Sunday evening, university President Sunil Kumar and four other university leaders addressed the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” for the first time since student protesters erected it on April 7, requesting that the tents be taken down to allow the university to prepare for Commencement. Shortly after, Tufts Students for Justice for Palestine reaffirmed in an Instagram post that they will not leave the Academic Quad until the university divests from Israel, ends the sale of Sabra and other Israeli products at Tufts dining locations, “acknowledge[s] the genocide in Gaza” and “apologize[s] for previous statements.”


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University

BREAKING: Joel Omolade to sit as next TCU president

Joel Omolade will serve as the next president of the student body and the Tufts Community Union Senate for the 2024–25 academic year, as announced by the Tufts Elections Commission on its website earlier today. Total election turnout was 30.36% of the student body, and over half of those students voted for Omolade — putting him ahead of the next candidate by 429 votes.