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Dear colleagues, 

We write with information regarding academic advising, resources for students, and important policies that will be helpful as you begin the semester. Please keep this message as it may prove handy in the coming weeks. Most of this information is applicable to those teaching undergraduates, but some information is also pertinent for those teaching graduate students. 

We welcome any unanswered questions and suggestions from faculty concerning educational policies and academic resources for undergraduate students. Carmen Lowe is the point person for the Senior Honors Thesis, REAL Program, and SPIRIT Fund. Jennifer Stephan serves as the Advising Dean for all Engineering undergraduates. 

Best wishes, 

Carmen Lowe  
Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies  
School of Arts and Sciences  

Jennifer Stephan 
Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies  
School of Engineering 

Website for Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies 


What’s New? 

New “alphabet assignments” for Arts and Sciences undergraduates. In July, Stephanie Frazitta joined Tufts as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising for Liberal Arts. We now have four advising deans for undergraduates in the Liberal Arts BA or BS degree program, and the alphabet assignments were adjusted prior to the beginning of the fall semester; see below. 

Dean of Student Affairs. This summer, Camille Lizarríbar joined Tufts as Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer. In this role, Dean Lizarríbar leads student-centered initiatives and oversees student affairs at the School of Arts and Sciences (including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts) and the School of Engineering. 

Resources for Student Mental Health: Tufts has partnered with Kognito, a mental-health education platform for all faculty, staff, and student leaders. Access the platform any time at

StAAR Center: This summer the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and the Academic Resource Center (ARC) were merged into one center, the StAAR (Student Accessibility & Academic Resource) Center. This union is an effort to streamline academic support services for Tufts students in a more efficient, effective, and modern way. See below for further details. 


Resources for Students 

The StAAR Center offers: 1) Accessibility services for students with disabilities, 2) Individualized support for any student through academic coaching, 3) Group-based academic support (strengthening academic skills and discipline-specific workshops, tutoring for specific academic classes, and public speaking support), and 4) Writing support throughout all stages of the writing process. This fall all StAAR-related activities will be offered remotely. Students may access any StAAR support through their website or by emailing them directly at

Financial Resources for Hidden Costs of College: Students may inform you that they cannot afford textbooks or that they are struggling to pay for basic necessities. Please refer them to the FIRST Center and its list of financial resources available to Tufts students whose family contribution is less than $10,000. The FIRST Center provides a network of resources for students who are first generation, low-income, and/or have undocumented status. 

Funding and Support for Undergraduate Research: The Office of Scholar Development helps students attain opportunities for independent research and sponsored scholarship. Please let your students know about the opportunities here, including the Undergraduate Research Fund


Concerned About a Student? 

If you are worried about a student, the University wants to know right away. Below are contacts and resources for a variety of student concerns. 

Concerned about a student’s safety or well-being? If you believe that a student is in distress, you should follow the students in distress protocol and reach out directly to any of the 24-hour contacts listed. You should also bookmark the list of campus emergency contacts

Concerned about a student’s academic performance? Whenever you are concerned about an undergraduate student’s academic performance, please contact the appropriate Advising Dean, as listed below. 

Jennifer Stephan, Engineering students, last names A-Z 

Kendra Barber, Liberal Arts BA/BS students, last names A to E, and REAL students 

Matthew Bellof, Liberal Arts BA/BS students, last names F to L 

Stephanie Frazitta, Liberal Arts BA/BS students, last names M to R 

Robin Olinsky, Liberal Arts BA/BS students, last names S to Z 

Leah Gadd, BFA students, last names A-Z, and Combined Degree BA/BFA students 

Concerned about a student’s behavior or connection to resources? The Dean of Student Affairs Office coordinates resources for students facing significant unexpected difficulties, including complex well-being issues, and helps students with their overall personal development at Tufts. The Office of Community Standards coordinates the handling of reports of potential academic integrity violations.  

To report non-emergency, non-academic concerns about a student, please use this form, or call 617-627-3158.

To report an academic integrity violation, please use this form. Please note that faculty are required to report all suspicions of academic misconduct, which are addressed by the Office of Community Standards according to the Student Conduct Resolution Procedure.


Important Dates and Policies to Remember 

Students with Disabilities: If a student provides you with an accommodation letter from StAAR Center, it is your responsibility to have a brief and private conversation with the student about their individual accommodations for your class. Due to space and safety restrictions, instructors are asked to proctor exams for students who receive additional time this fall. You may do this by starting the exam early, staying late, finding another room in your department, and asking your administrator or TA for help. You might also consider offering exams online. For instructions on how to provide accommodations in the online environment, visit the StAAR Center website

This fall Dowling Hall will be open for students who receive Distraction Reduced Testing spaces ONLY, though with a very limited capacity. Instructors are urged to help the StAAR Center reduce traffic by proctoring their own exams in a format suggested above. 

If a Student Is Sick: In most cases of short-term illness, students should keep you informed of their absences and negotiate with you directly about extensions on assignments. Students with more serious illness or more extended absences are encouraged to work with the Advising Deans for support and ongoing communication with faculty. The Advising Deans will contact you by email to inform you of seriously ill students or students whose situation requires some flexibility. Please refer to the comprehensive correspondence sent from on August 12 titled Guidance on Flexibility for Students this Fall, which outlines special considerations for this semester including details about quarantine and isolation notifications to faculty.

When Parents Contact Professors: You should not talk to parents about their child’s performance in your class; parents should be referred to the student’s Advising Dean

Textbook Resources: Beyond the options offered by the Tufts Bookstore, there are a few resources to help students who may not be able to afford their textbooks. Professors may adopt free textbooks. Search the Open Textbook Library for free textbooks, most of which have reviews from faculty members. Tisch Library is piloting a new service to scan limited amounts of required reading to send to your Canvas course for the fall semester and while the COVID-19 crisis limits access to physical reserves in the libraries. In addition to course reserves, open educational resources are one way to address textbook unaffordability. For assistance in finding such resources for your courses, please contact your liaison librarian for assistance.


General Faculty Resources to Bookmark: 

The Teaching During COVID Resources for AS&E Faculty and Instructors Page is a central place to find information on Educational Technology Services, CELT, the Libraries, SMFA-specific resources, and the StAAR Center, as well as some Teaching FAQs.

Faculty Resource Center for FAQs about student resources, processes, or policies.

The Academic Advice and Support Page has information and links to Academic Advising, Pre-Professional Advising, and Scholar Development.