Newell Named Harvard’s Deputy Provost

Over a 30-year tenure, she became known as a "trusted and astute" administrator

Peggy Newell

 Vice Provost Peggy Newell, who has served Tufts University in numerous roles over the past 30 years, most recently as interim provost during the first year of President Anthony P. Monaco’s tenure, has been appointed Harvard University’s first deputy provost, effective Nov. 1.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Peggy, and a well-deserved recognition of her remarkable leadership skills and deep understanding of the core values and principles of American higher education,” Provost David R. Harris said in an announcement to the Tufts community earlier today.

“Like many of you, I feel great pride in Peggy’s appointment and bittersweet emotion as she takes this next step in her stellar career,” Harris said. “Sadly, she and I have only had the opportunity to work together for several months, but it is clear from what I have observed, and what I have heard from others, that Peggy has been one of Tufts’ most trusted and astute administrators.”

Newell arrived at the university in 1982, as registrar at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. She was promoted to assistant dean in 1989, and later to associate dean of the school, as well as associate dean for special programs at the School of Medicine, which had just launched a master’s in public health. She was named associate provost for research in 1998, and created the university’s first office of proposal development and its first Office of Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration. She has served as vice provost since 2004.

“I have had the great pleasure of getting to know people on all three of our campuses (four, if we count Talloires), of learning from some extraordinary mentors and of having the very best team in the Office of the Vice Provost and in the Provost’s Office that anyone could ask for,” Newell said in a letter to the Tufts community. “I have never had a day when I can say that I was bored or when I did not feel surrounded by exciting and interesting programs and people. Indeed, getting to know the faculty and their research and having gotten to know so many graduates of the Sackler School were among my greatest pleasures,” she said.

“In Peggy, we see a fascinating bouquet of contrasts,” observed Moselio Schaechter, professor of molecular biology and microbiology emeritus, in a 1998 interview in Tufts Medicine magazine. “She has the most gentle of touches, but can be as tough as the job demands.”

Monaco noted that Newell “has been a truly special and indispensible colleague during my time at Tufts. I will always be grateful for her wise counsel and generous help in ensuring a seamless transition for Provost Harris and me.”

Tufts will honor Newell at two community receptions, on the Boston campus on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the School of Dental Medicine Alumni Lounge on the 15th floor, and on the Medford/Somerville campus on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Coolidge Room, Ballou Hall.

“The university has made incredible progress over these 30 years,” Newell said, “and it was a privilege for me to have been able to be part of it. It was a particular privilege for me to have been able to be part of President Monaco’s transition team and to have gotten to know our new provost, David Harris.”

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