Graduate School Dean to Step Down

After a sabbatical year, Lynne Pepall will return to the classroom

After leading Tufts’ Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) for seven years, Lynne Pepall is stepping down as dean and returning to teaching and research as a professor of economics, following a year of sabbatical leave.

“I believe that I brought valuable economist’s skills to the position of graduate dean, and when I go back to economics, I hope to bring back what I have learned as graduate dean, particularly with regards to the opportunities and challenges in higher education,” Pepall says.

Pepall’s many accomplishments ensured that graduate education was central to Tufts’ academic mission. She calls her signature contribution the Graduate Institute for Teaching (GIFT), where graduate students receive the training and mentoring to become effective college teachers. Other accomplishments include a major reorganization of graduate student services and creation of professional skill development workshops, including those focusing on grant writing, career preparation and stress and conflict resolution.

Lynne Pepall. Photo: Alonso NicholsLynne Pepall. Photo: Alonso Nichols
“We will miss Lynne’s experience-based judgment and insights, but I know that we can look forward to her continued contributions as part of our faculty,” says Joanne Berger-Sweeney, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Pepall worked with GSAS departments to revise financial support of graduate education and to secure higher stipends, health insurance and fellowship support for all doctoral students. She was also instrumental in restructuring the master’s program in economics, introducing a new interdisciplinary doctoral program in cognitive science, two dual-degree programs with Boston College and an online certificate program in science education.

“It was a great pleasure to advocate for the GSAS students, who are absolutely fundamental to the mission of Tufts,” Pepall says. Outside of Tufts, she serves on the GRE Board and the Research Committee of the Council of Graduate Schools.

Nominations for a new dean may be directed to Berger-Sweeney until June 1. Candidates must be full professors with combined scholarly, research and administrative experience. The anticipated start date for a new dean is fall of 2013.

Gail Bambrick can be reached at

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