April 11, 2008

Good morning:

What is the average amount of credit hours a Tulane student carries per semester? How would you say New Orleans compares to other cities like New York and Boston in terms of diversity? What percentage of students who enroll in Tulane actually graduate? Do parents have access to students' grades and the ability to check on how their child is doing?

These are a few of the questions I fielded this week during a live web chat for students who are interested in attending Tulane University. Each semester I conduct three or four such chats, in which prospective students and their parents send questions to me via a special web link. I answer these questions over the phone and my answers are then transcribed and
posted for all participants to see.

My first introduction to the power of web chats such as these came in the dark days following Hurricane Katrina. Back then, these live chats were a lifeline; one of our primary means to assure our community of students, faculty and staff that Tulane would survive. LiveWorld, a California-based company that operates and moderates social networks and online communities for some of the world's largest companies, donated their
services to us free of charge after Katrina and have continued to do so. LiveWorld is an integral part of our informational rebuilding effort and a true friend to Tulane University.

I really enjoy the live web chats and the chance it gives me to interact directly with many of our prospective students and parents. I also enjoy telling Tulane's story, providing important information and clearing up any misconceptions about New Orleans. In addition, I get a kick out of some of the quirkier questions I get asked such as: "What is your favorite thing in
New Orleans? (and you can't say Tulane)" or "What's the Ultimate Frisbee scene like on campus?"

If you are curious about the answers to these and other questions, you can find them by visiting


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