Solomont to Retire as Dean
Dean Alan Solomont will retire at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
September 14, 2020
Alan D. Solomont, A70, A08P, the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, today announced his intention to retire at the end of this academic year. This announcement caps a remarkable period of growth and achievement for Tisch College during Solomont’s nearly seven years as Dean.
The only university-wide college of its kind in the nation, Tisch College studies and promotes the civic and political engagement of young people at Tufts University, in local communities, in our nation and around the world. With Solomont’s leadership, Tisch College has dramatically grown its student programs, strengthened its research impact, and embedded civic learning in the academic life of the University.
“Alan Solomont is a Tufts treasure,” said President Anthony P. Monaco. “He has worked tirelessly to ensure that civic engagement continues to be an integral part of our academic mission. By strengthening Tisch College and creating new connections to all of our schools, he has equipped a generation of Tufts students with the skills, tools and knowledge to engage in diverse communities and protect our shared democracy. We will miss him but know all too well that retirement is not too likely to pause the passion that he has towards his work.”
“The mission of Tisch College is central to this University and to the health of our democracy,” said Solomont. “My colleagues at Tisch College are among the most dedicated, caring and mission-driven people I know, and it has been my privilege to work alongside them, our students and faculty to expand and deepen civic engagement, learning and purpose at Tufts and beyond. I am proud of what we have achieved together, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve an institution that has been so important in my life.”
Through programs like the Tisch Summer Fellows, the Tisch Scholars, the graduate school service-learning programs, and the First-year Global Programs, Tisch College has reached every school at Tufts and shaped the academic and professional pathways of thousands of students. Through its research centers, including the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement and the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, Tisch College has cemented its position as the leading authority on the civic and political engagement of young people. With new professorships and expanded faculty programs, the College has supported community-based research across disciplines and now proudly offers the first and only undergraduate major in Civic Studies in the country. The Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series, launched during Solomont’s tenure, has brought to campus dozens of high-profile, public leaders to engage with students and the entire community. Together with outstanding colleagues at Tisch College, Solomont has accomplished all this while also ensuring a stable foundation for the future growth of the College.
“During his leadership tenure, Alan has greatly expanded Tisch College’s reach and influence, ensuring its mission is truly university-wide, reaching faculty and students at all Schools, whatever their academic or professional path,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Nadine Aubry. “Our students and our alumni are making a difference in the world, and Tisch College is a big part of the reason why.”
When Solomont joined Tufts University’s Tisch College as Dean in January of 2014, it was also a homecoming. A 1970 Tufts graduate, Solomont has held nearly every role one can at the university: alumnus, parent, visiting instructor, University Trustee, founding Board Chair of Tisch College, and now Dean. In recognition of his service to Tufts, Solomont was awarded the Presidential Medal by then President Larry Bacow in 2010.
“Alan’s leadership and persistence has been instrumental in expanding Tisch College’s reach and respect as a national leader in civic education and engagement. His contributions have positively impacted our students, our communities and our society, and will be felt long into the future,” said Jonathan Tisch, A76, Trustee Emeritus. “I am grateful for his dedication and commitment and wish him all good things as he begins his next chapter.”
Solomont’s entire career has been defined by service. Appointed by President Barack Obama, he served as United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, and he chaired the bipartisan board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Solomont was a leader in the eldercare industry, held leadership roles in the Democratic Party, and has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit and advocacy organizations.
Through it all, Tufts remained at the heart of Solomont’s personal, professional and civic life. His early experiences as an activist on campus, and then as a community organizer in Lowell, Massachusetts, set him on a path that put civic engagement and social action at the center of all he has pursued and accomplished.
Solomont is also a 1977 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he received a degree in nursing. He has been honored by numerous organizations, including with honorary degrees from UMass Lowell, Suffolk University and the Hebrew College in Brookline, Massachusetts. The UMass Lowell School of Nursing is named for Solomont and his wife Susan.
A national search for the next Dean of the Tisch College of Civic Life will be led by Provost Nadine Aubry.