Faculty life

Improving the quality of professorial life

More office space, money for travel and help with offsetting high housing costs were some of the items on a wish-list voiced by faculty to Susan Ernst, dean of Arts & Sciences, during the February 26 arts, sciences and engineering faculty meeting.

Ernst said she is examining issues related to faculty development. Faculty offered the following suggestions:

Creating more endowed professorships

Providing affordable housing for junior faculty and housing assistance for graduate students

Establishing a mortgage assistance program to help new faculty buy homes

Providing better access to university buildings for the disabled

Creating more space for offices and meetings

Using staff more effectively to perform some of the administrative tasks now being done by faculty, especially department chairs

Offering assistance in paying travel expenses to conferences

Tufts has a transitional housing program that makes two-bedroom apartments available for new faculty through Walnut Hill Properties, a real estate arm of the university. The three-year-old program has been able to rent two-bedroom apartments at the "low end of market rate" to faculty in the Medford/Somerville area, according to Margery Davies, director of diversity education and development for Arts & Sciences. So far, the program has been able to accommodate anyone who needs such housing. Faculty may reside in the housing for two years.

In addition, Davies said the old Hillside School on Capen Street, adjacent to the Medford/Somerville campus, is being renovated into apartments for faculty.