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The Office of Strategy & Program Development is a partner to the schools and central administration for the identification and development of mission-related opportunities that transform the University’s model for sustainable success in the 21st century higher education ecosystem. We do so through the following key areas of engagement:

  • Migrate towards and support a Tufts strategic mindset
  • Support university-level strategic initiatives with analytical, project management, and/or content expertise
  • Provide best-in-class market research to the Tufts community
  • Run the Program Development & Approval Process


As we support the University’s mission through our Office’s mission, we strive to incorporate the following key values into all we do:

  • ‘One University’ mentality
  • Partnership-oriented approach
  • Rigorous and data-driven business analysis
  • Futureproofing through nimble adaptability and growth
  • Efficient enablement of solutions

Key Initiatives

Last updated September 2021

Migrate towards and support a Tufts strategic mindset

Tufts Market Mindset: monthly e-digest focused on our new academic programs and the market research that supported their development designed to create space for more strategic, market-oriented thinking outside of our daily operations, to build transparency around Tufts’ program portfolios, and to support a culture of smart risk-taking. Subscribe here!

Innovation Roundtables: quarterly gatherings open to all focused on the intersection of the higher education landscape, the market environment, and Tufts. Each quarter, we will focus on a trend in the market or innovation at Tufts by discussing with a panel of experts. Join us for our next event on the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at TUSM by registering here!

Program Portfolio Reviews: strategic evaluations of a school’s portfolio of educational programs vis a vis the school’s mission and goals. These reviews combine in-depth knowledge of the school, their program portfolio, and the market to make recommendations about how the school can better align their programs and/or their approach to programs (e.g., program management) to achieve their goals. Key to these analyses is a taxonomy of programs that often offers a fresh way for schools to consider the value proposition of the degrees they offer.

School Strategy Debriefs: quarterly discussions bridging the leadership of each school, the Provost’s Office, and the Office of the Executive Vice President (through OSPD) to discuss the broad strategic goals of the schools, their needs from central, their program development pipeline, and market research requirements.

Support university-level strategic initiatives with analytical, project management, and/or content expertise

Online Education Working Group (co-chair): develop the vision and operating principles needed for a “Phase 2” environment of Online Education at Tufts that translates the manifold strategic risks we face in our current model into opportunities for our institution. Once established, identify the steps required to transition online education at Tufts from its nascent entrepreneurial environment to Phase 2.

Program Review and Discontinuance Working Group (co-chair): establish the mechanisms and criteria for program review and discontinuance in-line with office and University values.

The Future of Allied Health Professions Education at Tufts (author): develop a vision and guiding principles for a new approach to Allied Health Professions educational programs.

Financial Model Committee (participant): consider, and if necessary, adjust the University’s financial model in terms of its enablement and incentivization of the University’s mission.

Provide best-in-class market research to the Tufts community

Tufts’ Top Opportunities: an annual analysis to highlight the key programmatic opportunities in the market for Tufts. This analysis relies on extensive and best practice market data from Burning Glass, IPEDs, BLS, and more to generate meaningful recommendations.

Program Idea (In)Validation: in support of the Program Development & Approval process, we produce market research reports to both help align program curricula and structures to market needs and best practices and set expectations about potential return (demand-side). Request a project here.*

On-Demand Research: complete ad hoc market research projects at the request of schools and central units! Request a project here.*

*note all projects are vetted with the unit’s senior leaders before work is started.

Run the Program Development & Approval Process (PDAC)

This process, run in coordination with the Provost’s Office, provides support to schools looking to build new academic programs (e.g., a Master’s degree or a minor) or structures that support them (e.g., Centers, affiliation agreements). By maintaining a streamlined set of guidelines for program proposal development along with the relationships with key contacts in central bodies to ensure requirements can be easily fulfilled, PDAC helps shepherd well-vetted proposals through the process ensuring ideas with a viable rationale can launch sooner.

For more information about PDAC, visit the official website.