Appointment of Provost and Senior Vice President

July 31, 2023

Dear members of the Tufts community,

I am very pleased to write today and announce the appointment of Caroline Genco as the provost and senior vice president of Tufts, effective August 1.

As you all know, Caroline has been serving in this role as ad interim since January 2022. I have had the opportunity to engage with her closely during my transition over the past eight months. Through those conversations, I appreciated her clear vision for the academic enterprise at Tufts and the collaborative approach with which she will achieve that vision. It is evident to me that she is the right person to assume the role of provost permanently.

Over the past year and a half as interim provost, Caroline has been actively engaged in implementing a strategic vision to further support our academic mission. Developed with the benefit of continuous refinement based on ongoing discussions with key stakeholders (including faculty, deans, staff, and the Board of Trustees), that vision advances inclusive and innovative education and research at all of our undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools; cultivates a diverse faculty to propel our mission as a student-centered R1 institution; and supports Tufts’ strategic aspirations to become a preeminent mid-sized research university.

Caroline also oversaw leadership changes at several of our schools. She designed and implemented new forms of engagement with our deans to address school- and campus-specific challenges and conceived new ways to bring scholars together from across our four campuses.

In partnership with Executive Vice President Mike Howard, she developed a shared set of strategic goals and priorities among schools and central units and a framework for making strategic investments, and established accountability for prior-year priorities and investments.

Across all levels of the Provost’s Office, Caroline has worked to build partnerships with schools and central units. She launched new cross-school initiatives that build on Tufts’ distinctive strengths to grow our research portfolio. She convened one task force to identify ways to strengthen and invest in graduate programs across Tufts and another task force to develop a framework for a university-wide global strategy.

As interim provost, in partnership with her team, Caroline also developed and implemented new faculty recruitment and retention strategies, including the launch of a new cluster-hire program and the establishment of a dual career services function. Her office is also preparing to implement new faculty and mentoring development programs. Caroline and the Provost’s Office broadly have also continued to build a rapport with the Faculty Senate to develop and support shared goals and priorities.

Caroline continues to work toward creating more inclusive and collaborative processes and problem-solving for DEIJ initiatives across the university. These efforts have included more frequent engagement with the associate and assistant deans for diversity and inclusion, and the administration of the first-ever campus climate survey.

Prior to her leadership of the Provost’s Office, Caroline served as the vice provost for research from 2019 to 2021, and chair of the Department of Immunology at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) from 2015 to 2019. She is a distinguished scholar with an active biomedical research program, and she holds the Arthur E. Spiller M.D. Endowed Professor in Genetics at TUSM. She is a graduate of the competitive Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program, which helps women develop professional and personal skills to lead and manage in today's complex health care and higher education environments.

Please join me in extending best wishes to Caroline for success in her new role and learning more about her on TuftsNow. I look forward to the important work that she and I will do together—in partnership with our entire community—in support of even greater achievements for Tufts.

Best regards,

Sunil Kumar