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Lawrence S. Bacow ’72

Chancellor 1998–2001; President, Tufts University 2001–2011
Chancellor 1998–2001; President, Tufts University 2001–2011

Lawrence S. Bacow ’72
Chancellor 1998–2001
President, Tufts University 2001–2011

Lawrence S. Bacow was chancellor of MIT and chair of the Faculty before becoming president of Tufts University in 2001. Dr. Bacow majored in economics as an undergraduate at MIT, then earned a law degree and a PhD in public policy at Harvard. He returned to MIT to teach in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, later becoming the Lee and Geraldine Martin professor of environmental studies and started the Center for Real Estate at MIT. As chair of the Faculty and then chancellor, he worked on a range of issues, including cost-cutting at MIT and cutbacks in federal support for basic research, student housing and student life, the partnership between MIT and Cambridge University in England, and the allocation of physical space at the Institute.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Benefits and limitations of fraternity life.
  • The change to co-ed dorms.
  • Administrative efforts to improve student experience, such as moving freshmen to on-campus housing.
  • Becoming president of Tufts 10 days before September 11 and the importance of strong leadership in times of turmoil.
  • The continuous fight to make higher education available and affordable for everyone.

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