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ERIC Number: EJ847405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-12
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
For Tufts, the World Is a Matter of Connections
McMurtrie, Beth
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n39 pA28 Jun 2009
This article is the third in an occasional series on how colleges have tackled some of the basic challenges of internationalizing their campuses. Tufts University has long been an internationally focused institution. Yet in one area it has, until recently, been sorely lacking. Like many universities, Tufts made little attempt to connect with graduates who lived overseas. In 2002 it had only three international alumni chapters, in Greece, Hong Kong, and London, each of them run autonomously. But since then Tufts has expanded its alumni-relations office and pushed international networking high on its priority list. The university now has 22 active international alumni chapters, reaching out to the estimated 5.8 percent of graduates who live abroad. More significantly, the chapters have become an integral part of Tufts's work overseas, including recruiting, admission, networking, and fund raising. Chapter meetings have become regular stops for administrators and faculty members who travel outside of the United States. While Tufts has financial resources that many other institutions do not, administrators say that they achieved their goals not by throwing money at the problem but by thinking strategically. International events have been coordinated across a network of staff members and advisers. And alumni have been recruited, often in small but meaningful roles, to help develop the university's international presence. Although many people have been involved in building up Tufts's global alumni connections, just one person has been given the full-time job of developing and maintaining the international chapters. Gretchen C. Dobson started at Tufts as an alumni-relations officer in 2002 to manage the domestic alumni network and the three international chapters. She soon began to connect with more alumni internationally as well. But aside from a few key parts of the campus, such as the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which has a strong global alumni network, she found that Tufts lacked the ability to stay in touch with its overseas graduates. That quickly changed. The university hired a new president, Lawrence S. Bacow, and a new provost, Jamshed Bharucha, in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Both men took a deep interest in expanding Tufts's international profile. The university also began a capital campaign in 2002, with a $1.2-billion goal. Tufts's global outlook became one of the central themes of the campaign.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States