This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo credit: By Mario Morgado, Courtesy The Cooper Union

Jamshed Bharucha Assumes Presidency of Cooper Union

When Jamshed Bharucha ’78 becomes the president of Cooper Union on July 1, he’ll be adding the position at the highly selective Manhattan college, famous for its free tuition, to an already-impressive list of accomplishments. Currently the provost of Tufts University, Bharucha also spent 19 years at Dartmouth University as John Wentworth Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, making him the first Indian American to be named dean of a school at an Ivy League university.

Originally from Mumbai, Bharucha came to the United States at age seventeen to attend Vassar, where he was a biopsychology major (and later, a Trustee, from 1991-1999); from there he went on to earn a M.A. in philosophy at Yale, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at Harvard. He also studied violin from a young age, playing in orchestras from Mumbai (then Bombay) to Harvard. Music also plays a part in his research on the neural basis of perceptions of music.

During his time at Tufts, where he has worked since 2002, Bharucha made changes whose impact quickly became apparent; in his nearly ten-year tenure, the school saw a 100 point increase in the average combined SAT score of incoming freshmen, as well as a doubling of research and patent applications from faculty members. He also encouraged multidisciplinarity within the school, particularly through his University Seminar program, which brought together undergraduates, graduate students and faculty from an array of the university’s schools to work together. During his time at Tufts, he also received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College.

Bharucha’s multidisciplinary interests in academia - particularly his ability to cross-pollinate between the fields of science and art - make him a natural fit for Cooper Union, which offers three tracks of study, in either art, architecture or engineering. His plans for Cooper Union’s future include increased relations between its departments and an increase in service projects both in the city and abroad.
– Cynthea Ballard ‘13

March 2011

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