Leading the Way through Civic Studies at Tufts (LEAD IT 2018 Faculty Panel)

Leading the Way through Civic Studies at Tufts (LEAD IT 2018 Faculty Panel)


Good morning I’m Steve Wermiel, I’m
president of the Tufts University Alumni Association I’m a member of the class of
1972, a parent of an A10 graduate, I’ve been volunteering in Washington for about 35
years past chair of the Alumni council awards committee and various other
activities I’m delighted to see all of you here and to welcome you to LEAD IT
2018 the Tufts Alumni Leadership Summit before I start doing some introductions
I know that many people in the country and around the world have had a tough
couple of weeks and so I would like to just take a moment and ask you to have a
moment of silent reflection please all right thank you on behalf of the
members of the LEAD IT Planning Committee Barbara Clark Kate Kaplan Dave
Myers Tim Nelson Elizabeth Salem I’d like to thank you for coming today I
know some of you have traveled very far and we’re glad to have you here before
we go any further let me just say a huge thanks to the dedicated and talented
staff of the office of alumni relations which has done an incredible amount of
work to make this weekend happen especially Julie O’Connor and her team
just a quick thanks this is our third LEAD IT event and once again we have
gathered together our most engaged alumni to learn from university
administrators faculty members and your fellow alumni leaders. We’re especially
excited to have such a strong showing of young alumni they represent a whopping
36 percent of our attendees to fully appreciate how many of you there are I’d
like to ask everyone who graduated in the last 10 years to please stand for a
moment thank you you are indeed the future of
the alumni community and I thank you for joining us this weekend. Another data
point that I would like to share with you is the number of attendees who are
not currently volunteering for Tufts they represent 21% of our attendees to
you I would also like to extend the special welcome clearly you are
committed to Tufts and we hope that as you get to know some of your volunteers
over the weekend you’ll feel compelled to engage on a deeper level over the
next two days you will have the opportunity to hear from Tufts faculty
on a range of topics from the power of engagement through civic studies to the
science of stereotyping to the fight against infectious diseases and to the
complexities of human migration this afternoon we’ll have a university
leadership panel featuring our president the Provost ad interim and the chairman
of the board of trustees where you will learn more about the Tufts comprehensive
campaign Brighter World followed by a chance to hear stories from some of our
alumni volunteers there will also be interactive sessions where you can learn
about volunteer opportunities to expand your current volunteer roles and before
dinner we have a networking reception with student groups it’s a full day that
I think you will find both illuminating and fun the purpose of lead it is to
give current and prospective alumni volunteers the chance to communicate
collaborate and network we hope that afterwards you will go back to your own
communities inspired by what you’ve learned we also hope that you will come
away feeling even more engaged with Tufts having access to the university
administration the president provost and trustees is one way to achieve this
having the opportunity to train not only for your current volunteer roles but
also for future leadership roles is another way volunteer engagement is a
major component of the Tufts University Alumni Association’s
strategic plan and to strengthen that engagement TUAA intends to evaluate
the interests and needs of all alumni partner with the office of alumni
relations to maximize the quality and reach of alumni experiences and
contributions promote civic engagement and leverage available communications
channels through targeted messaging and your help your insight is a big part of
achieving those goals alumni engagement is also vital to the success of the
brighter world campaign which is empowering Tufts students faculty and
alumni to make a difference on our campuses and around the globe as
president of TUAA I’m proud to tell you that the Alumni Association is
committed to supporting the campaign and has pledged to contribute 30 million
dollars with a hundred percent participation rate to date we have
commitments for twenty six point three million of that 30 million from members
of the Tufts Alumni Council the council the council will also be working with
University Advancement to directly engage in advocacy and outreach to raise
participation in Annual Giving among the Alumni body and to foster an enduring
culture of philanthropy across the Tufts community although undergraduate
participation is on the decline and most colleges and universities Tufts is on
the upward trend and we want to lead by example in support of this important
mission it’s an exciting time here at Tufts our scientists are tackling some
of the world’s deadliest diseases our researchers are involved in some of the
most complex global issues of the day and you’ll get to hear from some of them
during the faculty panels Tufts continues to bring together the best and
brightest students who upon graduation are prepared to address the most
consequential challenges of our times they are making a difference in the
world and so are you are engaged Tufts alumni lastly a few housekeeping items I
believe you all received a text last night with some reminders about lead it
a few more texts will be going out during the event containing important
reminders to keep us on schedule so don’t be alarmed when your phone
start buzzing all at once we’ve got a hashtag this year hashtag toughed lead
it so please feel free to tweet about your favorite leading moments as they’re
happening and be sure to tag us at Tufts University you can also jot down your
favorite moment on the board in the registration area downstairs and we just
might feature your moment in our future lead at marketing campaign if you see a
staff member or two typing on their phones during a presentation you can
safely assume that they are tweeting posting or sharing something interesting
about lead it across our social channels and finally this is my mini Oprah moment
I have a gift for all of you remember to turn your clocks back tonight thank you very much and let’s get
started hello friends aren’t we glad it’s raining
and gross so we’re not tempted to go apple picking or go for a nice leisurely
stroll or a bike ride instead we’re gonna be inside all day together as we
like each other hi I’m Barbara Clark I’m co-chair of the lead it planning
committee and I’m a member of the class of 88, hashtag 0 80s we’re really
having a moment I think it’s the 80s and I’m a past president of the Alumni
Association I and it feels like I think it’s like five cycles ago which feels
like forever and we have I think we have pretty much every other president here
too so it’s great anyways our first panel is called Leading the Way Through
Civic Studies at Tufts in an ever-changing and challenging world
Tufts is making a global impact by supporting initiatives around civic life
and extending its global reach Tufts can achieve this in part because
of the Jonathan M Tisch college of Civic Life it’s nationally recognized Center
for information and research on civic learning and engagement which is also
called circle because we love our acronyms is the leading source of research on youth civic which we’ve been seeing all kinds of
media about lately and I’m so excited for this panel they’re university-wide
initiative Jumbo Vote works to facilitate voter registration tackles
barriers for Tufts students to vote in local communities increases voter
education and sports events and programs of foster political engagement today
we’re gonna hear about the latest interdisciplinary teaching and
partnerships that make Tufts the national leader in the field of civic
studies moderating our discussion is Dr. Diane Ryan, associate dean for programs
and administration at Tisch College. Join me in welcoming Dr. Ryan to kick it off. Thank you
thank you Barbara thank you to all of the planning committee to Julie O’Connor
for keeping us straight and certainly to all of you for coming out and spending
your Saturday morning listening to us it’s it’s it’s really quite flattering
humbling symbolic that we get to be the first panel because I think a lot of the
things that we’re going to talk about will touch on many of the things that
are on the news this morning and every day and I think it’s emblematic of the
commitment that Tufts has made to putting civic life and civic engagement
kind of at the center of everything that we do here at Tufts just a little bit
about me before I introduce the rest of the panel members I’m probably the
newest of the Tisch family on the stage right now I joined a little over a year
ago so I’m almost an academic year and a half into the job I came after 29 years
in the Army and ten of those spent on the faculty at the US Military Academy
at West Point and when I was leaving that position and thinking about what I
would do next and people say oh why did you leave the army because after 30
years you have to leave there’s a there’s an expiration date or shelf-life
so I I wondered what will I do that is as service focused and as meaningful and
where else are they’re universities that have this kind
of commitment and I found that at Tufts now I get to pick out what I wear to
work every day like like no other time in my professional life but I have
definitely found a community of committed and active citizen scholars
practitioners that are pretty inspiring and come to work every day and so I’m
gonna introduce actually ask each of my colleagues to introduce say a little bit
about themselves and I’ll start with my my battle buddy over there Peter Levine
the associate dean now for academic affairs thanks Diane it’s just this is
just an intro of ours just just who we are yeah it’s it’s fantastic to have
Diane by the way it’s transformative for us mainly because of her individual
excellence but also the the experiment the experience in perspective of the
Army is tremendous so I’m Peter Levine I’m now the academic dean of Tisch
college and I also have appointments in political science and philosophy and in
the medical school through a long story that I don’t need to bother you with i’m
elora Ebrahim I’m on the faculty here at the Fletcher School and also at the
Tisch College of civic life and I work especially with organizations that have
a social purpose whether their businesses or nonprofits hi I’m Hillary
Binda and I am in the visual and critical Studies department which is
actually at the Museum school but I am now very much a part of Tisch College
and director of the women gender sexuality Studies Program and of the
Tufts University Prison initiative of Tisch College great thank you so much I
was gonna start with a joke about a philosopher a businessman and an English
professor going to a bar but it wasn’t that funny so instead I will just
briefly talk about the mission of Tisch for those of you that are unfamiliar
because when we walk around and tell people we’re from Tisch College they get
confused is that the library is that is that over at the gym are you
at NYU no we’re not and and just a little bit about the history if you’re
unfamiliar Tisch is about we’re about to celebrate our 20th anniversary in
another year or two but the college has a little bit longer history than that
started out as University College and went through about six name changes
before we came to the Jonathan M Tisch College of civic life and I put the
mission up here and what is unique about Tisch College at least from my vantage
point and when I explain this to my colleagues up here institutions is this
idea that it is a college with a Dean our Dean sits with all the other Dean’s
of the other professional schools and alongside
Arts and Sciences and we are a resource for the entire University and I like to
use the this I word integration because I think that we are the integrators of
all things Civic across the curriculum to every corner of the university so if
you ask Allen Solomon Tarr Dean how many students do you have he’ll say 11,000
because it’s our goal that we will touch every person associated with Tufts
whether that be an undergraduate student in philosophy or a student at Fletcher
or a medical student as well as provide resources for all our faculty and then
be a liaison or provide outreach into the surrounding communities of Medford
Somerville Chinatown now the Fenway is another hunk what we’re going to talk
about Concord in a second and Grafton at the vet school and so we have these
three pillars if you will that we organize around of Education and and
that I mean that in the broadest sense of the term and that will come out a
little bit supporting research so that’s both basic and applied research as well
as as practice and that’s the outreach into
the community so I want to kick it off by talking about one of our newer
initiatives and and getting from the horse’s mouth if you will the creator of
our new civic Studies major so people want to know what is Civic Studies and
why was it the right time and the right place for us to introduce this right
thanks Diane so so I’m supposed to talk about civic
studies which is the name of the new Arts and Sciences major at Tufts but
it’s also broader than that so I think for example I think Mike Alex here
including al-nura teaches Fletcher students are involved in civic studies
but it’s up to him to decide if that’s true so how do i how can I explain it
just a few minutes ago as we sat here we all very appropriately even movingly I
think closed their eyes or look down at the ground and thought about the
tumultuous events of the last couple weeks whether its murders in a synagogue
in Pittsburgh or the caravan or even the gyrations of the stock market whatever
was was on your mind and I think at that kind of moment the question that
appropriately is on your mind is what do I think about this right what do I think
about this but you know that’s not a satisfactory question in the long run
it’s not satisfactory in at least two ways it’s about thinking and some at
some point we’ve got to do something right so what are we gonna do and it’s
also an AI question I mean it was appropriate that we sat there silently
because you do have to look inward but you need more than I you need a we for I
think two fundamental reasons one is because on your own on our own none of
us can accomplish enough we don’t have enough power or influence but also
because on our own were not smart enough or wise enough or thoughtful enough so
we need a other people to talk to right to check our own views against so I like
to constantly say and people get tired of it the question for a citizen is what
should we do what should we do and it’s an it’s a very hard question
it’s hard in the particular context if the question is climate change then it’s
complicated and gnash been scientifically complicated and
economically complicated but also just generally figuring out how what how to
address the question what should we do is hard how do you have functional
groups how do you have a dialogue with an eight group of any size that leads to
better wisdom instead of worse outcomes instead of polarization or
rumor-mongering and how do you do those things when the group is not just five
well-intentioned people who know each other but tens of millions of people on
Twitter for example so what groups are functional what makes them functional
how do they form and so this is this is essentially the subject matter broadly
defined I would say of civic studies and it’s not only a major at Tufts and
thread through our other work it’s also a reform agenda in academia in general
and it has we have other allies at other institutions and we even have a
manifesto of 10 or 12 years ago which had a Nobel laureate another sign on to
it because and the the reason it’s a reform agenda is because there’s an
argument behind it which says that that question what should we do gets lost in
universities but really gets lost in intellectual life in the 21st century
and some interesting ways it gets lost because the question gets shifted to
what should be done or what’s going on and why but not what should we do and so
to learn it to learn how to think what should we do how do you do that partly I
think experientially so you actually participate in groups of different
scales and sizes and you learn how to do it and that’s the traditional American
model that’s what did Tocqueville more than a hundred years ago said Americans
were good at we learned how to think that way by doing it but and and so and
I should say Tisch College is deeply committed to making it possible to learn
experientially so and that was where that was our DNA that was our original
founding and we have many many programs for students and staff and faculty to
experience civic life experientially and and in some ways that’s part of
especially what Hillary is going to talk about only a part of it though
think but it’s also this question of how to think what should we do is
intellectually extremely challenging and very unresolved so it’s not as if the
experienced adult knows how it just needs to tell the young folks how to do
it there are many ways that we do not know how to do it but we don’t know how
to run a non-profit in in the global South we don’t know how to have a civic
discussion in a prison we don’t know how to have a how to handle things like
Twitter right so there’s an intellectual there’s a set of of addressable but
unaddressed questions and so this is we’re at a university like Tufts
appropriately because this is our central model at a university like
ptosis to marry the undergraduate experience and the graduate student
experience with cutting-edge research to have the
students apprentice in with people who are actually asking unanswered questions
but it’s tempting to answer those questions so so um I can kind of wind up
by saying Civic Studies is a new major and in a way it’s guiding question is
how do you think about what should we do we have an intro course we have a lot of
other required optional courses including for example Hillary’s but it
connects to two other things and I’ll just say this really quickly one other
thing that connects to is the internal research effort of Tisch College itself
so you heard about circle but just a little more broadly there are what 14
maybe 12 or 14 people fully employed you know full-time scholars inside of Tisch
College not being paid by tuition dollars and not primarily teaching
students or some of them never teaching students instead being funded by grants
and contracts that we raise and gifts to operate like a nonprofit that is trying
to address some of the questions of civic studies for public audiences
nationally and internationally and we do the questions of civic studies are
enormous ly broad so we do specialize and we have a I would say a dominant
position in in studies of what causes young Americans ages 15 to 30 to become
engaged in different ways so when the election happens on Tuesday we will be
the sole source of in the country of data on youth turnout
and that’s based on on years of work but some so that’s so there’s a whole bunch
of people inside of Tish college you show up in the morning switch on a
computer crunch data write grants interact to some extent with students
but are primarily trying to talk to national audiences about some of the
issues and then the the remaining thing I want to say is that we also have these
partnerships with beloved and valuable faculty across the campus who study many
other dimensions of these problems because we specialize at Tisch College
because I think we have to specialize but then we try to broaden so these two
are great exemplars and I don’t want to do a spoiler alert so they can tell you
what they do but you’ll notice how diverse it is from and how different it
is from studying young Americans turn voter turnout so and we could
proliferate the list so we could talk about moon Duchin from mathematics who
has got an increasingly dominant voice nationally on applying mathematics to
improving congressional districting and fighting gerrymandering or we could talk
about Doug brookie in the medical school who has an amazing 10 year long research
project whose topic is is the effects of highway pollution on health which is
actually very serious but the thing that makes it a civic studies project is not
the particles that get into people’s lungs but it’s the fact that he worked
for 10 years with a whole coalition of community groups to do the research and
so the way that he’s so figuring out how to do research with complicated
community groups in multiple languages in urban Boston would be his
contribution so much more to be said that I think that might be a good place
for me to stop great so that is a nice segue into the question that I wanted to
ask Alan or when we were specifically talking about the Civic Studies major
and and not being an undergraduate program could you please tell us a
little bit more about how Civic Studies is relevant more broadly in their
graduate and professional schools and and most notably in your own work thank
you so I’m going to I’m going to tie this to Peter’s the question that he
asked in terms of what should we do which is really a central question
to the to the Fletcher School to just give you a tiny bit of history Fletcher
school was founded in 1933 and it was founded specifically as an international
affairs school and it was in fact the first truly global affairs school in the
country now just think about 1933 this was the Great Depression it was a period
of increasing isolationism strong nationalism globally sounds like I’m
talking about today and it was at that period that there was an insight that
what if we could actually train people to think and act globally so in that
sense it was pretty iconoclastic and you know I think eight or ten students in
the first class but that mission has continued to remain incredibly relevant
the what’s changed I think is a couple of things so universities tend to be
very siloed and this university has been no exception and so you’ve got different
departments doing their own things what I think has really changed in the past
ten years I’ve been here for close to three but from talking to Peter and
others what I think has really changed is partly the role of Tisch right so so
Diane described it as an integrator it’s really is a glue across civic life
related work across the university and it’s it’s an attempt to counter the
tendencies of organizations of people to be very isolationist and so breaking
down the silos in that sense the other thing that I think has changed within
Fletcher is so initially when it was established and for many many years core
focus was on government what is the role of the public sector
and Fletcher has had very strong connections to multilateral agencies
United Nations multilateral Development Bank’s our current acting dean Ian
Johnstone was a very senior manager in the United Nations worked directly in
secretary-general Kofi Annan’s office and we have a lot of people work that
have worked in the State Department many ambassadors coming through so very
public sector focused the big shift has been increasingly a lot of attention to
civil society as well as business so the connection to civil society is obvious
right so international NGOs social movements strong interest among the
research as well as the courses that students take here but the new entrant
really in the past several years has been business and it’s a recognition of
the fact that social problems of course don’t recognize sector boundaries
whether that’s government business or civil society and that they really
require an integration and this place through in the teaching that I think
we’ll talk about in a little while so I won’t sort of touch on exactly how that
happens in the teaching at this moment but it’s really this question of if
we’re going to ask sort of what should we do we need to have ways of thinking
about the players in that environment and how we think about the
cross-sectoral work and so increasingly not only do we bring in faculty
practitioners visiting scholars that are from across the sector’s but also our
students are going out and working within those sectors but what ties them
together is the DNA of the school and in relationship the DNA of the Tisch
College which is all about social change and so a student that goes into finance
is really thinking about well how do we create models of finance that are
inclusive a student that goes into you know a major corporate actor whether
it’s coca-cola or Pepsi is thinking about well what are the effects of
this organization in terms of the physical environment what are its effect
on climate change or natural resources but if you’re a Coke or Pepsi you’re
using a lot of water so how do you connect that back to the sustainable
development goals the UN sustainable development goes and actually make that
not a side objective within those corporations but actually really central
to the business model so those that’s the kind of training that we try to
impart here through curriculum and research but it all comes back to what
should we do and how do we do it so that it’s societally relevant great thank you
so much so this brings me to Hillary and we’ve talked a little bit about teaching
and practice and I think you really marry these two together in a very
unique way that I would love for you to tell everyone about okay it’s such an
honor to be here thank you very much for having me and it’s an honor to be a part
of Tisch and the first thing I want to say is that the prison project which
I’ll describe in a moment really wouldn’t be here in any way if it
weren’t for Tisch when I sort of switched campuses three years ago and
became part of a faculty cohort at Tisch I met other people it’s okay it’s too
loud no I met other people who were also interested in criminal justice reform
abolition prison abolition and education on the inside and formed a team of
people that are university-wide we have you know the other two my other two
research partners are in the school of public health and also Arts and Sciences
so the other way that Tisch supports this is by supporting us financially and
and philanthropic Lee we’re so grateful to just college and just to be part of
the community there so what what the prison initiative does at this point is
it sort of three-pronged and I wonder if
some of the younger alum have have participated at all in the tutoring on
the inside if you all as any did anybody tutor in prison when you
were at Tufts No okay so that’s a program we started
three years ago by bringing in PD Green which is a wonderful national
organization separate from us but developing on that program that trains
and brings undergraduates and graduate students into prisons in Massachusetts
and nationally to support people inside doing educational programming we’re now
offering beginning a what will be a degree program for a cohort of people
who are incarcerated in Massachusetts actually at MCI Concord which is why I
was trying to push to include Concord as one of our campuses so we are this
program will be part we are partnering with Bunker Hill Community College they
will actually be offering the associate’s degree by reverse
transferring credits it’s taught by Tufts faculty full-time tenure stream
professors for the most part and it’ll last three and a half years and we hope
to be able to continue that program so we’re you know we’re working to to be
able to support that in in a more long-term way the RAND Corporation in
2012 came out with a study a meta-analysis of a number of different
studies that look at the impact for people who are incarcerated of having
some exposure to education before they release and the impact on recidivism was
just very clear 43 percent decrease in return to prison rates that didn’t
include that didn’t specify post-secondary or college education and
when you do that put that lens on it it brings the number of people
recidivate down 2-0 to 1% particularly those who receive a credential a degree
so that’s one piece of the project that’s very exciting and and has been
not easy to create through working with the state but we’ve done it so that
begins next semester and the other piece that is part of how we sort of built up
so much interest on the Tufts campus is that that we’re offering a course I
teach this course called the literature of confinement on the inside bringing in
tough students so we have incarcerated students and tough students together
taking this literature course everybody gets college credit for it you know
really thank you to Tufts most universities are not willing to do this
we had absolutely no problem sort of suggesting this and Tufts saying of
course if they’re doing the work of a Tufts College
I mean credited course they should get that credit so in that class and I can
talk more about it people to first address the tough students their lives
are entirely changed but by this experience so most of us don’t go inside
prisons they go in and not only kind of understand what these prisons are and
how what that what it’s like to be inside a little bit of what it’s like to
be inside but they are they get to know the people inside and many of those
students have come out of the class deciding on that the major the career
that they want to pursue things like public defenders we’ve had two people
who decided they want to be public defenders as a result of the experience
one who Oh two actually who want to go into prison health care C learning what
they’ve learned about the health care system in prisons
so it’s it’s had that kind of a concrete impact because of the emotional impact
that getting to know people inside has can and create the impact on the
incarcerated people has also been really extensive and I have lots of stories
about people’s not just sort of gratitude about about being able to
forget they’re imprisoned for a little while that’s always a very powerful
thing to hear and that’s the power of Education and I think the other thing I
want to say about the tough students is they see that impact so when as happened
yesterday or Thursday an incarcerated student tells one of the tough students
I had three people come to my cell the other day and want me to go out and
fight which would have meant a long solitary confinement stay could have
meant ten years depending on what happened and he says I decided not to do
it because I didn’t want to jeopardize my my experience in this class and the
potential to continue in programming and the in the Tufts program and you know it
just entirely changed his life in that that little moment so I’ve many stories
like that but be happy to talk more so anyway gratitude to Tish for supporting
the project it’s it sounds like he didn’t want to let that let that
community down to write the group of his fellow students so that’s really
powerful I I just will pile on to this because I went to the first like closing
ceremony from the first class that we offered last fall and I was completely
blown away I didn’t know what to expect I had been in a federal penitentiary
before out in Fort Leavenworth and I I was I was not only so moved by what was
going on with the prison but the seeing the transformation of our
tough students was was I can’t I don’t even have any words for it but that kind
of brings me to this point that I want to ask out nor how do we I know your
expertise is in measuring social impact so how do we know if what we’re doing is
moving the needle like are we really making a difference or are we just
making ourselves feel good by all the things we’re talking about so she’d even
warned me that she was going to ask me that question I think it’s a really
important one and you know I mean we are we’re an academic institution we have
the resources to actually put behind a question like this and you know we can
ask it for titian Diane in fact led us through a week or two ago a process of
the of the tissue affiliated faculty to actually try and lay out what it is that
our objectives are in our own work that’s related to civic engagement and
how we might actually begin to articulate what its results might be and
then the next question would be how we would follow that and so at its very
beginning we need to have some sort of of a theory of change you know a set of
hypotheses that if we could lay out so if we do a B and C then we expect X Y &
Z to occur and that’s a hypothesis set of hypotheses and then we can articulate
so where do we actually have control over any of this and so certainly among
our students we have we have we have control over what they do while they’re
with us but once they leave and they become you we have actually very limited
influence and so so that question of causality as to you know the stuff that
you do now and that you love doing now can we attribute any of that to what
occurred while you were here on campus and to the degree that in interviews we
get consistent messaging that these were the things that made
real difference to us and particularly if those are things that you couldn’t
get elsewhere then we know that perhaps there was something I think we have to
be somewhat humble about it because some of you are so remarkable you probably
could have gone anywhere and still gotten where you are but I think there
are distinctive things that we can point to and so the kind of societal emphasis
on the Tufts campus and particularly through Tisch I think is very distinct
among higher educational institutions you might see it in particular
departments but you don’t see it across the institution and so to the extent
that we get feedback that says that that our work is really about making a
difference in society and that was that was really strengthened in our insight
and understanding and ways of acting on and while we were at Tufts then I think
we can begin to make sort of credible claims around this on a more narrow
level and we can think about this in our own classes so for example I teach a
course on leadership this semester and the course is divided into a bunch of
modules one is about how to design and run effective teams and there’s a lot of
really good research out there on what it takes to create an effective team
students often coming in think about well when they’re working in student
projects they can kind of divide up the tasks and that’s teamwork that’s not
teamwork that’s simply separation of tasks it’s what Max Weber the great
sociologist would have called bureaucracy not in a pejorative sense
but simply in a descriptive sense it’s separation of tasks teamwork really
requires attention to problems that can’t be solved by individuals and we’re
learning across different skill sets occurs and we can actually develop the
conditions both in terms of the design of teams as well as the design of
process for doing this so this can be taught there’s another module in there
which is all about tying the individuals personal values and motivations
– then how they relate this to their own leadership style right so the so-called
authentic leader there’s really something behind this in terms of really
connecting your own values so that they’re reflected in terms of how you
run a team or how you run an organization and we look at a lot of
examples of that and I’m getting feedback so the first time I taught this
course here at at Fletcher was just a little over two years ago
and I’m hearing constantly back from students that are now in the workforce
saying I’m actually referring back to my notes I’m working on teams differently
than I would have and that gives me some sense that if we were to pursue this
systematically we might be able to get a sense that it actually makes a
difference and then the third thing and then I’ll stop there is you know if we
think about learning as sort of a three point triangle knowing doing and being
so the knowing piece is you know it’s the analytical it’s the it’s the logical
kind of work that we tend to associate with the academia but that’s really only
one part of learning we can’t have holistic learning without the other two
pieces so the doing is the experiential piece and so increasingly we’re seeing
both at Fletcher but across the university and not just here a lot more
experiential work to try and connect what you’re learning in your brain with
what you’re doing and so in a course that I teach called managing NGOs and
social enterprises I put students in teams and they work with a client
organization in terms of working with that business or that nonprofit in terms
of clarifying their theories of change their hypotheses of change and actually
putting in place metrics for tracking whether that’s occurring or not that’s
the doing piece the third piece is the being piece which comes back to sort of
personal values and going from you know what do I care about to what do we care
about and how can we actually operationalize this to kind of bring
this back full circle to Peter’s earlier comments and that piece of it actually I
think in much of academia is still pretty absent people gain their values
there are family upbringing from their social communities from their religious
background from their faith and from the broader culture and within which they’re
embedded but we had tend to have very few opportunities except for perhaps in
in in truly introspective disciplines like philosophy to reflect on that on a
day to day basis and I think professional schools are beginning to go
there and so we can also ask to come back to this question of how do we know
if we’re making a difference do students have a clear sense by there from the
moment they come in to when they leave a real difference in terms of an
understanding of their values and how they operationalize those in terms of
connecting with people that are different from them and in terms of
building teams and organizations that can actually make progress on problems
terrific so I want to make a public service
announcement so I don’t forget if you get your alumni survey please please
fill it out and say what were the most transformational things that you
experienced and that’ll help us to measure these kinds of things and tell
your classmates because that would be an indicator that that’s that’s helping us
so those are important to us I was gonna ask another question but I think that
instead I want to give you all an opportunity to ask questions of the
panel so is there a microphone I see a hand up okay the microphones are coming
around we’ve got one gentleman with his hand up here and then the next one in
the back two in the back so it’s a question for Peter you
mentioned that we will be the exclusive source of youth data voter turnout for
the 2018 election so after you said that I went on Google and I searched you
theta voter turnout for the US midterm elections I searched a bunch of key
terms and I didn’t find Tufts I found a story from the Kennedy School on Time
magazine I found stories on CNN I found a bunch of stuff but I didn’t find Tufts
anywhere and I scrolled down pretty far and I searched different key terms then
I went on a Tufts website and I searched for the same thing and I found exclusive
research where youth voter turnout could matter in 2018 and it’s from March 27th
2018 it’s an article that was written internally I think and in internet terms
that might as well have been in the prehistoric age so my question to you as
we’re doing all this great work here are the leaders in front of you that will go
out and help raise money for the university and talk about all the great
things that Tufts doing but when our peers go out and search for this great
stuff they don’t find it what’s the university doing to market
itself and help us be visible outside in the world so that it makes our job in
raising funds and telling that story of what Tufts is doing that’s so great a
little bit easier I think there’s a subtle issue there that we do worry
about and work on but it’s a little hard so those stories all have our data in it
and that the Time magazine and they also have quotes from our people and and
we’re actually in we were on The Today Show
this we were on we’re on news media every day the the the journalists have
three choices for how to identify the the work they can identify it as Tufts
as Tisch College or as circle and circle has a substantial brand because it’s it
goes back to I moved it up from University of Maryland so we get delude
the brands get deluded and we actually have had thought about trying to sort of
suppress the circle brand but that’s actually not such an easy call because
circles raised 20 million dollars on its brand
and that’s money that comes tough sand from a lot of stakeholders who don’t who
aren’t investing in Tufts they’re not Tufts alumni so I think you’ll actually
find that we’re driving all those stories that it’s true that the Harvard
Institute of Politics had a pullout a week ago but actually our poll got which
was about three weeks ago got 30 times more coverage but I think it’s I think
the Tufts brand is a little diluted and we worry we worry about it we try to
work on it but I can tell you if you tell if you said they’re telling a
reporter especially a broadcast reporter I’m the I’m the Lincoln Filene professor
in the Jonathan M Tisch colleges civic life and responsible for circle and
which is the Center for information and research on civic learning and
engagement and that’s a Tufts University in Medford Massachusetts not all of that
makes it into the story and so that’s where tobacco cost is saying is like we
need to figure out a way to amplify that so you’re totally right like nobody’s
gonna say all that so maybe that’s a to do or something that we need to figure
out how to do that because it is it is ridiculous that we don’t have as much
recognition in that okay a good morning I’m Casey carpenter from the class of
1980 and I recently founded my own business where I work with leaders
especially women in corporations or perhaps they have their own businesses
at the intersection of public speaking sales and leadership and although my
question may sound a little redundant it is a little bit different because I’d
like to know how I can get my hands on research so that I can cite studies and
and really pertinent surveys when I am going out and facilitating workshops yes so thank you for that question
Casey so certainly the work that comes out of Fletcher we have a dedicated
communications and media team the the best way to kind of get regular updates
on what’s happening at the Fletcher School and new research is there’s a
once a week email sort of visually appealing that lays out things
interesting things that have happened this past week and what’s coming up and
it tends to go out late Sunday night so you’ve got it in your inbox on Monday
morning and and so so the easiest way is is to just right go right onto the
Fletcher website and then there’s there’s a link to to get that regular
mailing or you can just give me your card and I’ll pass it on to our
communications people to make sure that you get that it’s way in the back and then you sorry
you turned his microphone on please again to the broader room and thanks to
the panel I in a another volunteer life I’ve had the opportunity to review the
accreditation of a number of institutions and this relates to the
terrific prison initiative I noticed that some number of community
colleges are engaged in prison pedagogy and I wondered if the Tisch folks you
specifically are engaged in researching and teaching to other teachers the
pedagogy of teaching in prisons and thank you for your work sure thank you
for the question I don’t at this point consider myself an an expert in that so
that’s my my first my first response is I do feel like the what Tufts is doing
is a is a very collective project and that we’re where we are all learning
together and we’ll be learning together over the next few years about teaching
on the inside but the kind of quick answer is that it has radically changed
my teaching here as well and we are involved in research we’re working on we
have a study that’s approved at Tufts and in the process of getting approvals
through the state where we will track the impact of the educational program on
incarcerated people but also on the faculty so I’m thinking that that’s a
place where at it’s looking at our our program
specifically but of course we’re researching other programs as well as
part of that so I think we are we are working toward that Bunker Hill is is
our partner and they’ve been involved though not on the inside but through
correspondence courses with with criminal justice and education in this
state there’s a National Conference of prison higher education that all of the
college programs on the inside or take part in we meet next week actually in
Indiana there’s a conference and that’s a place where those panels and
discussions happen so there is yes increasingly writing about this work and
we’re we’re going to do our best to participate in that as well we we I’ll
just add that we have a study that we’re kind of coming to the end of now we’re
writing up the report on about the impact of college and prison on formerly
incarcerated people so I’m teaching the pedagogy is a huge part of it so thank
you I don’t just just start talking and maybe he can turn on oh I guess I don’t have a loud voice
when you start talking in it hello my name’s Nelson lease 2009 grad and I
actually was a Tisch scholar back when it was the Center for active citizenship
so I really appreciate the work that all of you guys do and put into you know
improving you know the civic life on campus and in society you know at large
I do also do a lot of interviewing for the Tufts admissions network and get to
one of the things I love talking about with the people who are interviewing is
the work that’s not a Tisch College I would like to ask sort of in the what do
we do framework what are we doing or how is the Tisch College engaging the
University and pushing it to change the extreme lack of socio-economic diversity
on campus I certainly know that’s one of our areas of concern and certainly an
area of teaching and scholarship and it informs you know the the inequality I
would say informs all of our programs and everything that
we do you know we we certainly try to use our work to influence and that
hopefully create resources to provide those kinds of means to increase
socio-economic diversity I don’t I don’t want to like speak out of turn because
I’m not fully read in on how we’re gonna get to the goal of need-blind admissions
but I certainly know that something that’s important to people and it’s it’s
aspirational and if if we get there we’d love to think that we contributed in
some small way to accomplishing that Peter do you want to add anything no I
mean I think we first of all we have to own the problem which is also a
challenge for our for for example the curriculum in the pedagogy because we
have we have a certain kind of student body I mean our actually our external
work is as you can tell from the prison program but also from circles research
is very oriented towards disadvantaged young people so that the
contrast is always quite striking to us the only other thing I can say is which
I mean I do think the university owns that problem and I say that as someone
who tries to be a good citizen well be partially maybe I see skepticism and
that’s that’s understandable I I tried to I think a lot of us try to be good
citizens of the university I was just on the Provost search committee for example
and this kind of issue comes up in the interviews so I mean I think anyway it
matters a lot to us because we can’t really do our mission with a student
body that’s not it’s a son representative of the national
population as ours is yeah I just simply want to emphasize that I think you’re a
hundred percent right and that the core is financial aid and so that becomes
really the core priority of any fundraising campaign and so and we’ve
had discussions about this specifically at the Fletcher School where when we
when when we lose students to other schools it’s very often or almost always
because of financial aid right so even at the graduate level it’s a big issue
and so in current fundraising it is one of the top priorities and without doing
that I just don’t see any way to overcome this challenge how do you say
it’s a great question if I could just add one more one more
fuck your side one more comment here so the Fletcher School is in the process of
searching for a new Dean right cuz Admiral James stavridis has just stepped
down we have an interim dean and you know Dean sorry this sort of beat the
fundraising targets that we had set for the school but I think we can be far
more ambitious and I’m on the search committee for the for the new dean and
time and again we had a meeting just on Thursday one of the top criteria in
terms of what we’re searching for is somebody with fundraising capability
because this really has to be at the top of the list but I think the other way to
think about this is can we come up with new models of financial aid right and
there’s been a few experiments across the country but they’re still very small
around students repaying a portion of future income which doesn’t penalize
people that go into the public service basically and and enables people that go
into financially lucrative jobs to actually repay back more so some sort of
across subsidy there but I think we need to be thinking more creatively also
about the financial aid models so if any of you have nominations for the Dean do
let me know because I feed that directly to our search firm and our Provost okay
I think we have time for one more question in you’ve had your hand up for
a very long time and I’m Lisa Bronner class of 1989 I want to say thank you to
the panel for everything that you’re doing for your impact on tough students
and also society at large by the work that you’re doing so thank you my
question again is about measuring and hacked which you talk to a little bit
about but what if anything is being done to measure impact systemically in other
words with respect to students tough students who are involved in this you
shared some anecdotes but is there an effort perhaps with advancement
department or other departments at tufts in conjunction with you on systemic lis
measuring the impact in other words for instance tough students who then do
pursue either careers or other things in their professional life where they
reflect to the university by virtue of the fact I was involved at Tufts here’s
the work I’m doing today here are some things that I’ve done that have impact
impacted Society because of because of my studies here because of the work that
I did here so how are you measuring its systemic lis yes so I’m happy to take
that question just because I have been leading up a year-long effort for us to
kind of get our arms around how do we move the needle and there’s a that
unfortunately we’re running short on time but I could definitely talk to you
more about this but here’s a couple of things we know one is that not everyone
comes here with the same sort of level of experience and engagement and we have
we are definitely trying to you know saturate the environment with
opportunities and we recognize that not all opportunities are going to have the
same impact on all types of students so what we’re trying to get get into is to
figure out actually there’s a researcher here in the Institute for Applied
Research and youth development rich Lerner who’s probably one of the
foremost experts on young adult development and he he uses this
ideograph ik approach where looking at people as individuals in like time and
in the environment to figure out what what works for different kinds of people
so it is our hope that something that we offer here is going to move the needle
in some way for every person so we’re trying to figure out what that is on
three different levels the first one is civic identity
what are the intrapersonal characteristics and and and values and
behaviors that are impacted by our programming the second one is civic
leadership al-noor talked a lot about what he does
in his own class but we know that you know there’s lots of different
experiences and opportunities at tufts that help to move the needle with regard
to how do people work in groups interpersonally to achieve some sort of
common goal and then the third aspect is at a systemic level and that’s something
we’re calling civic agency so how do you work within and outside of a system to
understand the barriers the challenges the opportunities the bureaucracy to to
be able to create lasting social change so I mean that’s just scratching the
surface of a huge effort that we have where we want to look at all of our
stakeholders our students our faculty our alumni especially to see what is the
long-term impact of this and then the communities that we work in to figure
out how are the things we’re doing here making a difference there and I we don’t
I just want to I know Barbara’s like about to like hook hook you know yeah
but I want it we we are starting early so last year we launched a program
called leadership for social change for high school students so if any of you
are parents of high schoolers or no high schoolers or work in schools we would
the with the application for this year’s cohort will come out in December I
believe so so keep an eye on that because we had 30 high schoolers 12 of
which came from underserved schools in New York City in Boston and we’re hoping
to increase that cohort each year and to make this a really great vibrant program
could could I also invite people if you’re interested we’re in the process
of constructing an advisory committee for the prison initiative and would
really love to have recent and not so recent alum rep
so if you are interested you feel please feel free to speak to me today or to
email me I’d love to hear from you great and that’s a great segue so thank you so
much to the panel

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