January 25, 2002

Good Morning:

Tulane students have been doing a lot of trash talking lately...and that's a good thing. Tomorrow morning students will deliver 300 free garbage cans to residents who live on Broadway. Tulane's Undergraduate Student Government purchased the cans to show our neighbors that they are serious about keeping the area around the university free of student-produced litter. Students will also distribute a map of the Broadway area that provides information about university resources available to the community, as well as sanitation and safety contact numbers. I applaud this effort on behalf of our students to address a serious and long-standing problem.

And while I'm applauding students, let me send out congratulations to Sarah Blascovich, a Tulane senior, who received the Martin Luther King Community Service Award at a special ceremony held in honor of Dr. King at Dillard University this week. Tulane students also helped plan the Beloved Community Children's Fair held at the St. Jude Community Center as part of a week long celebration honoring the memory Dr. King.

I wanted to share these examples, just a few of many ongoing student-led efforts, as a reminder of the quality of our student body. It is easy to get caught up in administrative tasks and forget that the primary reason for Tulane's existence is the education and growth of our students. Examples like the above let me know we are on the right track.

The rest of the week was devoted to budget meetings with each of the senior officers as part of the Decentralized Management Center (DMC) system we plan to launch on July 1. This system, which is a complex and dramatic change for the university, will result in a significant cultural and behavioral shift in how we continue to build this wonderful university. It may take a few years for us to iron out the kinks in the DMC model but, in the end, this approach will make us a better institution both academically and financially.

Finally, I had a very productive meeting with the Affirmative Action Committee of the University Senate this week in which we discussed our ongoing efforts to make the Tulane community more inclusive and welcoming to everyone. As you know, affirmative action is a much-discussed topic right now in higher education. No doubt the issue of affirmative action based admissions will ultimately wind up in the Supreme Court. In the meantime, though more needs to be done, we are continuing to make progress on diversity related issues here at Tulane. I plan to write more to you about this topic in upcoming issues of Inside Tulane.

Have a good weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638