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It has been a little over one year since Tufts Support Services (TSS) first opened its doors. In its first 12 months, TSS handled just over 60,000 cases with case volume increasing steadily. In June, TSS was handling more than 275 cases a day. The average daily caseload this fall was 320. This increase is good news if you ask TSS Senior Director, Dick Doolin, who is gratified to see more people using the services and returning to use them again. Looking back on the past year, Dick says, “The staff here has worked very hard. To a person,every one of us has grown since we’ve been here.”

In these interviews, TSS directors describe challenges they faced when the center first opened, lessons they’ve learned along the way, and their ongoing efforts to update and enhance services.


Dick Doolin, Senior Director, Tufts Support Services

Dick Doolin Headshot“I’ve been surprised by the wide range of questions people come to us with. We knew going in that our staff had to learn a significant amount of information but people call us for all kinds of different things, not just what we first described in our list of services. This has resulted in training being a lot more extensive than I’d expected. Everyday we’re expanding our understanding of how the university operates, which in turn, helps us improve our services.”



 Melanie Foley, Director of Community Support Services

Melanie Foley Headshot“Given that this was a completely new operation, at first we just tried to do the best we could. Almost every call gave us something new to consider. We were writing several new knowledge articles every day to help staff address issues we hadn’t expected. Now we have time to think about how we can improve the experience for people who contact us.”



Peter Barone, Director of Finance Support Services

Peter Barone Headshot“(We) are looking at ways we can build a bridge between our systems (Salesforce and Apptricity) and PeopleSoft. We’re developing a dashboard that can extract data from these systems. ‘John Doe’ will be able to see all of his cases or his travel reports,whether or not a report has been submitted — he’ll be able to see it all.”



Pete Barron, TSS Director of Human Resources Operations

Pete Barron“I’m really excited about improvements we can make from a PAF (personnel action form) perspective. It’s not the PAF itself, it’s the process that needs to be fixed. Going electronic will take some doing — that’s going to happen further down the road — but there are improvements we can make right now.”