Grafton Community Advisory Group

Mission Statement/Overview

Tufts–recognizing the importance of community involvement in successful campus growth management –is convening and supporting a Grafton Community Advisory Group (GCAG) for regular public discussion of all matters of concern between the school and the Grafton community. It will be Tufts key connection to its neighbors, creating a more open and regular opportunity for open dialogue between the campus and community, as well as a more effective way to get information from Tufts to interested neighbors. It is intended to provide a frequent, regular opportunity for the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine administration to inform the community about the school’s activities, and for area residents with diverse perspectives to convey concerns and input. It will help the veterinary school administration to more effectively reach out and remain a good neighbor to those around the Grafton campus.

The GCAG will be comprised of Grafton residents, municipal officials, civic leaders, and Tufts Cummings representatives. The GCAG will be a relatively informal, advisory group that will host quarterly meetings, which will be open to anyone who would like to attend. Group meetings will be co-chaired by one representative from the school and one from Grafton.

GCAG will provide a forum for review and comments on the school’s programs, building plans, master plan and economic development activities. For example, the GCAG will be the first tier of review and comment on the school’s implementation of its Grafton campus master plan, which the school has recently updated. The group will be kept apprised of – and offer comments and advice concerning – master plan permitting, project plan reviews, construction activities and economic development. Group members will also play a key role as conduits between their respective communities and the veterinary school, helping ensure that the community is involved with, and informed about, a wide variety of Tufts issues, activities and plans.


  • The name of this group shall be the Tufts Cummings Grafton Community Advisory Group (GCAG). The group will work in conjunction with the Dean’s Office – Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to advise the school, to provide broad and diverse community perspectives on Tufts Cummings School activities, to assist in informing other community residents of veterinary school news.
  • Its purpose is to improve communication between the Cummings Veterinary School and its neighbors.
  • All who participate in GCAG meetings agree to extend courtesy to others, and maintain civility, openness and respect for the positions and opinions of others.
  • In recognition of the different constituencies represented, it is the intent of the organization to operate by consensus.


  • Grafton residents, especially from the North Grafton neighborhood, are encouraged to participate. Several municipal department heads or officials, civic leaders, and Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine representatives will be invited to be regular attendees at meetings.
  • The Dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine will formally confirm and appoint members to the GCAG, after initial advice and consultation with the Tufts Grafton Liaison Committee, civic groups, and other community leaders. (Note: The Tufts Grafton Liaison Committee is a separate, distinct executive committee for dialogue between Tufts and town government. Its members are: from Grafton – Town Administrator, a member of the Board of Selectmen and a community representative; from Tufts – the Executive Associate Dean, senior campus planner and a faculty member).
  • GCAG members will serve for two-year terms and may be re-appointed for additional terms.
  • Members are expected to provide liaison between their respective communities and Tufts on issues of concern.

Meeting Schedule

  • The co-chairs will convene the advisory group quarterly during the year (January, April, July and October). Special meetings may be called whenever there is important news to discuss. Either of the two co-chairs may ask for a special meeting. In addition, community members may contact one of the co-chairs to request that a meeting be held. Anyone who would like to be on a regular mailing/e-mail list for meeting announcements, etc., should contact Jean Poteete at jean [dot] poteete [at] tufts [dot] edu. Minutes will be taken and kept of each meeting.


  • GCAG officers are two co-chairs – one from Tufts Cummings Veterinary School and one from Grafton. Each will serve a term of two years. The veterinary school dean will appoint the Tufts Co-chair. The GCAG membership will elect the Grafton Co-chair.
  • The co-chairs shall preside at quarterly meetings and have the usual duties of the Chair: preparing an agenda (in consultation with an agenda sub-group, if needed), acknowledging persons who wish to speak, and encouraging discussion to proceed in a smooth and orderly fashion.
  • From time to time, a special ad-hoc working group could be convened to address a specific topic of concern. This working group then would report back to the co-chairs and the group as a whole.
GCAG Members List as of November 1, 2013
Name Affiliation
Community Officials and Residents
Timothy McInerney Grafton Town Administrator
Doug Willardson Grafton Assistant Town Administrator
James Cummings Grafton Public Schools Superintendent
Matt Pearson Grafton Water District Manager
John Stephens Grafton Historic Commission Member
Gail McGrail Grafton Resident
Philip Dumas Grafton Board of Health Member
John Carlson Grafton Board of Selectmen Clerk
Michael Gauthier Grafton Fire Chief
Carol Davies IDEXX Corp./Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Member
Alden Harris II Washington Mills
Joe Laydon Grafton Town Planner
Normand Crepeau, Jr. Grafton Police Chief
Paul Cournoyer Grafton Sewer Department Superintendent
Eric Overstrom Grafton Resident
Daniel Crossin Grafton Suburban Credit Union
Donna Blanchard Apple Tree Arts Executive Director
Brian Szczurko Grafton Public Works Department Engineering Assistant
Timothy Oxley State Street Corporation Data Center Security Operations Manager
Elias Hanna Grafton Economic Development Commission Chairman
Joseph DiPina Grafton Job Corps Executive Director
Lloyd Hamm Grafton Suburban Credit Union CEO
Tufts Liaison Representatives
Joe McManus Executive Associate Dean
Lois Wetmore TCSVM Faculty Member and Grafton Resident
Cyndie Webster TCSVM Faculty Member and Grafton Resident
Jean Poteete Senior Campus Planner
Industry Sector Representative
Kevin O’Sullivan Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives CEO

Meeting Schedule

Meetings are held in the Kohnstamm Conference Room #106 in the Jean Mayer Administration Building (Download PDF of campus map), at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Please see the Visitor Information Page for directions and parking information.

Meeting Schedule
Date Time
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 7:30am
Thursday, April 3, 2014 7:30am