In Brief

Bob Cook to Step Down from Roles as Dean

After a sabbatical, Cook will focus on his research, teaching in the psychology department
Robert Cook, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts
Bob Cook. Photo: Kelvin Ma
February 26, 2021

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After seven years as the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, dean of academic affairs for Arts and Sciences, and the dean of research for Arts and Sciences, Bob Cook will be stepping down at the end of this year. Following a sabbatical leave, Cook will focus on his research and teaching. 

Cook was appointed as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in March 2014. Throughout his time as dean, he has demonstrated a commitment to emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the graduate school. Under Cook’s leadership, GSAS established the Visiting and Early Research Scholars’ Experiences Program (VERSE) and appointed Jackie Dejean as assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. Cook began and still co-directs the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership master’s program and the GSAS Community Fellows program. 

Under Cook’s leadership, the graduate school has set records in admissions, including this year’s record number of master’s and Ph.D. applicants. Cook advocated for the development of new graduate programming and curricula to help students adapt to a changing workforce and created a new master’s programs in data analytics. With the help of the GSAS office team and directors, he also developed new ways for students to access GSAS programs like stackable certificates and part-time programs designed for working professionals. 

As dean of research, Cook also worked closely with the Office of Vice Provost of Research and the research administration team to ensure success in research in Arts and Sciences. Cook was influential in reorganizing the research administration team and appointing Eileen Coombes as its director in 2018. As dean of academic affairs, Bob supervised the departments of Occupational Therapy, Education, and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, the Museum Studies Program, and two new interdisciplinary master's programs in GSAS. 

According to James Glaser, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Cook will continue in his deanship roles through the calendar year and assist with the leadership succession planning, which is currently underway.