David D. Cuttino

David D. Cuttino, far right, dean of undergraduate admissions, chats with parents of incoming freshmen during last spring's April Open House.
© J.D. Sloan

Dean of undergraduate admissions to retire

David D. Cuttino, dean of undergraduate admissions for the past 16 years, will retire at the end of the current academic year or when a new dean is appointed.

Cuttino "has played a major role in establishing Tufts as one of this country's most selective universities," Susan Ernst, dean of Arts & Sciences, and Ioannis Miaoulis, dean of engineering, wrote in a letter to the Tufts community. "As dean of undergraduate admissions, enrollment and external affairs, David [Cuttino] assembled one of the most innovative, committed and competitive admissions teams in higher education. Thanks to their efforts, Tufts has continued to attract extraordinarily bright and capable students who expect to be leaders in their fields of interest in the United States and around the world."

Cuttino came to Tufts in 1986 from Georgetown University. Since his arrival, "Tufts has undergone a remarkable transformation. The aggregate SAT scores of entering classes increased from 1219 to 1336," Ernst and Miaoulis wrote in their letter. "Then, 79 percent of Tufts students were in the top 20 percent of their high school class; today, 72 percent are in the top 10 percent." The letter compares enrollment statistics during Cuttino's tenure, saying they "give us a sense of the important and beneficial changes that have been a part of David's legacy at Tufts":

In 1985, 4.1 percent of Tufts students were foreign citizens; this year, 7.5 percent are. Nearly 82 percent of the class holds passports, and 28 percent have lived outside the United States.

In 1985, 3.9 percent of Tufts students were African American; now 7.4 percent are.

Tufts' Asian student population has increased from 4.3 percent to 13 percent.

The undergraduate Hispanic student population increased from 1.5 percent to 8 percent over the same period.

The 1,285 students in the Class of 2006 were chosen from 14,300 applicants. This represents nearly an 84 percent increase in the number of students applying to the university since the late 1980s.

In addition, Cuttino initiated the Tufts Institute for Leadership and International Perspective based in Hong Kong, Beijing and the United States, as well as the Institute for Global Leadership, which today encompasses EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry in International Citizenship) and the national high school Inquiry program.

"Among David's many attributes we hold in greatest esteem are his ability to create and lead networks of student and alumni volunteers to assist the university's admissions and career services efforts," Miaoulis and Ernst wrote. "Today, more than 600 students volunteer their time to do everything from leading campus tours to helping organize the annual three-day April Open House for accepted students. And a record number of alumni from around the world are participating in admissions recruiting efforts and career services initiatives, from cultivating internships to finding full-time opportunities for Tufts graduates."

A champion for raising funds for financial aid so that Tufts can compete for the best students regardless of their economic circumstances, Cuttino's leadership in this area also resulted in the creation of the Balfour Scholars, University Scholars, International Scholars and Neubauer Scholars programs.