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Office of the Boards of Advisors Records

Call Number: UA200

Scope and Contents

This collection contains biographical files, minutes, and reports created by the various Boards of Advisors and compiled by the Office of the Boards of Advisors. This collection also includes materials created while the Boards were known as the Boards of Overseers and the Visiting Committees.


  • Creation: 1897 -- 2020



This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

The Board of Overseers was originally formed in 1899, in response to a desire for greater alumni input in the governance of the university. Its original functions were to authorize all faculty appointments made by the Trustees, and to notify the Trustees of all changes to personnel. Additionally, the Board was tasked with making abstracts of annual reports from Boards of Visitors, and forwarding these to the Trustees with their own comments. After several Overseers voiced concerns about their input being ignored by the Trustees, the Board voted itself out of existence, in favor of electing ten new alumni to the Board of Trustees which would provide it with formal alumni representation.

In 1986 new Boards of Overseers were formed, as a way of consolidating previous visiting committees that were a part of the university’s administrative structure; this newer board did not have a connection to the previous Board of Overseers, though both shared similar goals of enhancing the reputation of the university. While the visiting committees that the Boards replaced had largely held supervisory responsibilities, the Boards of Overseers shifted to a goal of both broadening connections between Tufts and high-achieving professionals, as well as using the advisors’ professional experiences to “enhance the quality of life and programs at the university”. In order to achieve this, they were composed of thirteen boards, each with 10-12 members, representing the College of the Liberal Arts, the different professional schools, and the university libraries. Overseers on each board reported to both the trustees and the president of the university; additionally, each board had a trustee as its chairman. For the 2011-2012 school year, it was renamed to The Office of the Boards of Advisors.

As of 2019, the Boards of Advisors still works with its original mission, composed of hundreds of professionals who advise Tufts senior administration and trustees, with global impact in mind. Their professional backgrounds vary and include business, academia, and the natural sciences, a diversity that allows them to advance the missions of the eight schools at Tufts, as well as the Department of Athletics and the International Board. Their responsibilities include serving as ambassadors of the university, advising and counseling the administration, and assisting in the university’s teaching, research, and service missions.


20.4 Linear Feet (17 boxes)

762 Digital Object(s) (Of the 762 digital objects in this collection, 29 represent zip files comprising 63 files and 2.04 MBs of data.)

444.73 Megabytes (Of the 741 digital objects in this collection, 531 have extent information comprising 444.73 megabytes.)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the records of the Office of the Boards of Advisors.


This collection is organized into 14 series: Visiting Committees and general office files; Athletics Board of Advisors; Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors; Council of the Boards of Advisors; Dental Board of Advisors; Engineering Board of Advisors; Fletcher School Board of Advisors; International Board of Advisors; Library Board of Overseers; Medical Board of Advisors; Friedman School of Nutrition Board of Advisors; Cummings Veterinary School Board of Advisors; Meeting minutes; Biographical files; and Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service Meeting Minutes and Materials.

Custodial History

Overseers changed to Advisors by vote of the Board of Trustees, February 2012.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by the Office of the Boards of Advisors, 2008 -- 2021.

Processing status

This collection is processed. Meeting minutes from 2016 -- 2018 were processed by Leah Edelman in 2018. Meeting minutes from 2019 -- 2021 were processed by Jane Kelly in 2019 -- 2022. Materials were bagged using Bagger, zipped using 7-Zip, and ingested to the Dark archive. Beginning in 2022, materials were ingested to Preservica. Received chronological order was maintained. A file-level inventory was created, and series and collection-level description were updated at the time of processing.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States