School of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Named

Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bárbara Brizuela to step into the role on July 1

Bárbara Brizuela, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and professor of education, has been named dean ad interim of the School of Arts and Sciences.  

She will take the helm on July 1 and will serve concurrently as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

In December 2023, James Glaser, the current dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, announced his intention to depart Tufts at the end of this academic year to take the role of provost and executive vice president of Santa Clara University.

Brizuela has served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences since 2022. As dean, she has oversight of the enrollment of approximately 1,200 students across 78 graduate programs. She has led master’s and Ph.D. enrollment efforts for Tufts’ largest graduate school, spearheaded the development of a GSAS mission and value statement led program development efforts, launched the Future Leaders Fellows program, and redesigned the graduate financial aid process. Brizuela also serves as a dean of academic affairs and oversees the graduate departments and programs within Arts and Sciences.  

In 2022, she served on the university-wide Graduate Education Task Force convened by the provost’s office to review the landscape of graduate education at Tufts, a process designed to inform the university’s educational vision and strategy.  

Before becoming GSAS dean, Brizuela served for seven years as an academic dean in the School of Arts and Sciences, where she oversaw the Office of Faculty Affairs and supervised a diverse portfolio of departments and programs. She has also served as associate dean for diversity and inclusion for the School of Arts and Sciences. In that capacity, she served on the university-wide cabinet on diversity, equity, and inclusion and co-led the development of the DEIJ strategic plan for the School of Arts and Sciences.

“With her institutional experience as a faculty member and an administrative leader, Bárbara is uniquely suited to serve as interim dean,” said Caroline Genco, provost and senior vice president. “She has the respect of her Arts and Sciences colleagues and a sophisticated understanding of the school’s operations. She is well-positioned to guide the School of Arts and Sciences through this transition, as we continue the search for a new dean.”

“While the liberal arts and sciences tradition is centuries old, its value has never been more critical than it is today,” said Brizuela. “I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to lead the school during this moment of unprecedented change and challenge. I look forward to working with the whole Arts and Sciences community to continue to strengthen our students’ educational experiences and to bring out what makes Tufts so special.”

Brizuela arrived at Tufts as a faculty member at Tufts in 2001 as an assistant professor of education. She was promoted to associate professor in 2007 and to professor in 2015. She served as chair of the Department of Education from 2009 to 2012 and as director of the STEM Education Program from 2009 to 2014.

Brizuela’s current research focuses on children’s learning of elementary mathematics, specifically mathematical representations and early algebraic thinking and is funded by the National Science Foundation. Her main areas of interest are mathematics education, early childhood education, and cognitive development.  

In addition to a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Brizuela is a graduate of Tufts, having earned a master of arts degree in education. Brizuela grew up in Argentina and other countries across South America and received her university degrees (licenciaturas) from the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

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