January 9, 2002

Good Afternoon:

I am writing you this special Tulane Talk to announce a number of senior level changes at the university that have been in the works for several months and are now finalized.

First, Tony Cummings, Dean of Tulane College, will step down at the end of this fiscal year. Tony has had an enormous impact on undergraduate education during his 10 years as dean. His many accomplishments include restoring the original name and identity of "Tulane College," planning, overseeing and raising funds for the renovation of Robert C. Cudd Hall and establishing a co-curricula programs office that gives students incredible internship, research and study/travel opportunities. On behalf of the entire Tulane community I want to thank Tony for his innovative leadership. Luckily, after a much-deserved sabbatical next year, Tony will rejoin us as a member of the Faculty of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

After much discussion with key constituencies of Tulane College, Provost Lefton recommended to me that T.R. Kidder, associate professor of anthropology, serve as interim dean of Tulane College for a one-year term beginning July 1, 2002. T.R. received his B.A. in anthropology from Tulane in 1982 and his master's and Ph.D. from Harvard in 1987 and 1988. He returned to Tulane in 1989 as an assistant professor of anthropology and director of our Center for Archaeology. A widely published and respected scholar, T.R. has a great rapport with students from a vast range of majors, many of whom flock to the multidisciplinary course he teaches on the Mississippi River. T.R. has also worked closely with students involved in Tulane's living/learning project, a program that allows students from different majors but with similar interests to form specialized academic communities.

As you all know, Cynthia Lowenthal has served as interim dean of Newcomb College since the departure of Valerie Greenberg in December 2000. Her performance in this capacity has been so outstanding that she has now been appointed permanent dean, effective immediately. Cynthia earned her B.A. in English in 1974 and her master's in 1976 from the University of Arkansas. She earned her Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1987. When Cynthia came to Tulane after graduation she immediately became immersed in Newcomb life, becoming a Newcomb Fellow, a Newcomb faculty advisor and a member of the Committee on Newcomb College. She also distinguished herself as one of our most popular and effective faculty members, receiving several teaching honors including the Inspirational Undergraduate Teacher Award, the Sheldon Hackney Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Randolph C. Read Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Pew Master Teacher Award. Cynthia's appointment comes with the enthusiastic support of all of Newcomb College.

And finally, I am pleased to announce that Michael Herman, professor of chemistry, has been appointed the dean of Tulane's Graduate School. Michael's appointment restores the dean's position to the Graduate School for the first time in a decade and signals a major step in our commitment to begin the long process of revamping and revitalizing graduate studies at Tulane. Michael earned his B.A. in biochemistry at Canisius College in Buffalo in 1975 and his Ph.D in theoretical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1980. Since Michael's arrival at Tulane as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1981, he has established himself as a distinguished researcher, faculty member and administrator, rising through the academic ranks to eventually serve as the department's acting chair. Michael brings to his new position experience, enthusiasm and a vision of what the graduate experience can and should be at Tulane. Michael's appointment comes after a thorough internal search that yielded many qualified candidates. The Provost and I were impressed with the number and caliber of those who sought this vital and challenging position.

I want to especially thank Professor Harvey Bricker for chairing the search committee that brought us such a distinguished pool of candidates. It is testimony to the quality of our faculty that there were so many qualified candidates. I also want to thank Provost Lefton for his guiding hand in bringing these searches to a successful conclusion.

Please join me in congratulating all of our new appointees and in bidding Dean Cummings a fond farewell and our most sincere thanks for a job well done.


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