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Tufts Names New President

Tufts Names New PresidentLarry Bacow To Broaden University's International Impact in Scholarship, Research, Public Policy.

Boston [05.09.01] Tufts University's Board of Trustees today announced that MIT Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow, 49, will become the 12th president of the four-campus institution. He will succeed John DiBiaggio, Tufts' president since 1992, who announced his plans to step down last September. Bacow will assume the Tufts presidency in August, at the beginning of the fall semester.

"Larry's first-rate credentials as a scholar, educator and administrator enable him to bring a wealth of experience to Tufts," said Nathan Gantcher, a Tufts graduate and chairman of the University's Board of Trustees. "Among other things, his vision for MIT's collaboration with the University of Cambridge impressed the search committee, which was looking for a leader in creating new models for the global academic and research institution of the 21st century."

Bacow has served as MIT's chancellor for the past three years, while also holding an endowed professorship in environmental studies. As chancellor, he has been responsible for undergraduate and graduate education, research policy and oversight of the Institute's large-scale industrial and international partnerships. Prior to his current post, he chaired the MIT faculty.

Best known for his scholarship on alternative dispute resolution, Bacow is also widely regarded as a gifted teacher.

"Larry is deeply committed to both teaching and research," Gantcher said. "At the same time, he's an innovative leader with a global perspective."

Bacow worked collaboratively with Sir Alec Broers, the head of the University of Cambridge, and MIT President Charles Vest to create the Cambridge-MIT Institute, a strategic partnership between MIT and the University of Cambridge that supports joint research, curriculum development and teaching, as well as student, faculty and staff exchanges. The Cambridge-MIT Institute is funded by $135 million from the British government and British industry.

Bacow will assume the Tufts presidency at "the strongest position in our nearly 150-year history," Gantcher added. "We believe Larry will further advance Tufts by honing our focus and also broadening the impact of our scientific research, our high-profile programs in international relations, nutrition and the health sciences, and our undergraduate arts, sciences and engineering schools."

MIT President Charles Vest said Bacow "will be an outstanding university president." He credited Bacow with numerous achievements, including "an enhanced learning environment, design of a new vision for our residential system, new rigor to campus space planning, and major institutional partnerships with universities and industry worldwide."

Vest added, "He is a talented academic leader and an exceptional colleague. His dedication to the highest values of the academy, combined with his outstanding organizational and diplomatic skills, has been demonstrated in countless ways. He is masterful at energizing people and helping to achieve common vision, and he is a steadfast voice of conscience and reason."

Bacow said he is impressed by Tufts' progress under John DiBiaggio's leadership.

"During his tenure, John has strengthened Tufts in every meaningful dimension. It takes two things to make a truly great university - great students and great faculty. Under his leadership, Tufts is now competing for the very best students and faculty in the country. John has also greatly strengthened the research infrastructure that supports the faculty. Tufts' future is incredibly bright."

He added that he has special regard for Tufts' international focus.

"Increasingly, some of the most important scholarly questions lie at the edges, not the center of traditional disciplines," he said. "Tough problems do not respect geographic or disciplinary boundaries. Tufts is fortunate to have a history of working across traditional boundaries to make a difference in the world. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on all four of Tufts' campuses to build a University-wide approach to research, teaching, and common problem solving.

"The world today is being influenced by a number of common trends: a growing public awareness of the importance of the environment; increasing concern for quality, affordable health care; globalization; and a heightened interest in volunteerism among young people," he added. "With great strength in the environment, the health sciences, international relations, and its commitment to public service, Tufts is incredibly well positioned to respond to each of these trends."

Bacow has an extensive list of personal civic commitments, including service as a trustee at Wheaton College and Hebrew College, and as director of the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly.

His career at MIT began in 1977 as assistant professor of law and environmental policy. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from MIT, a law degree from Harvard and a master's degree and Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School.

In addition, Bacow has held visiting professorships at the University of Amsterdam, The Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam, Gabriela Mistral University in Santiago, Chile, the Politecnico di Bari (Italy), Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He recently received the first honorary degree given in 30 years by the Politecnico di Bari.

Tufts' president-elect also has a long track record of working closely with government, industry, and the nonprofit sector throughout his career.

He's served on a number of boards and as a consultant and advisor for a number of organizations, including Massachusetts General Hospital, the RAND Corporation, Arthur Andersen & Co., the Russian Ministry of Housing and Construction, the National Governors' Association, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

He's authored four books and numerous articles, and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Hazardous Waste and Environmental Impact Assessment Review.

Bacow, a native of Pontiac, Mich., and his wife, Adele Fleet Bacow, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., live in Newton, Mass. His wife is president of Community Partners Consultants, Inc., a firm that specializes in community economic and cultural development. She holds a bachelor's degree in urban design from Wellesley College, a master's degree in city planning from MIT, and is the author of Designing the City: A Guide for Advocates and Public Officials.

Their sons Jay, 21, and Kenneth, 19, attend MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively.

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