April 16, 2004

Good Morning:

Yesterday the New Orleans City Council approved Tulane University's plan for the development of University Square. The approval process was a long and arduous one requiring compromise, team work and sensitivity to the issues and concerns raised by various groups opposing our plans. The process was superbly led and managed by Yvette Jones and Anne Banos and a team of other Tulanians and community leaders too numerous to mention. On behalf of the entire Tulane community, I want to thank them for their effort. I am incredibly proud of all of them.

One of the factors that influenced city council members to support the project is the impressive economic impact Tulane University has on the local and regional economy. This impact was documented in a study released yesterday by Oakland Econometrics, a local economic analysis company headed by Tulane professor William Oakland. According to the study, Tulane activities contribute $1.12 billion to the state economy and $842 million to the New Orleans economy each year. While these figures are impressive in and of themselves, the study also notes that, because of its ability to attract so many out-of-state students, parents, patients and money, Tulane serves a unique role in the local and statewide economy that could not be filled by other entities.

In other words if there were no Tulane University, it is unlikely any other institution would attract the $360 million spent annually by out-of-state Tulane students, the $100 million in federal grants awarded annually to Tulane, the $20 million spent by out-of-state Tulane patients on medical care or the $7.5 million spent by patients for food, lodging and entertainment.

The study also said spending by Tulane University is the number one growth industry in New Orleans, noting the $450 million in salaries and fringe benefits Tulane provides for its employees, the $196 million it spends in goods and services and the $25 million it outlays annually in new construction projects. Analysis of the study reveals that for every $1 million Tulane spends, 16 new jobs are created. Tulane is the largest private employer in New Orleans and the fifth largest employer in Louisiana.

The study concludes that Tulane is a vital economic asset for New Orleans and Louisiana, especially when our economic impact is considered along with the other non-quantifiable benefits we provide to our city and state as a nationally ranked educational institution.

So while Green Wave refers to the sea of green created by Tulane University athletic teams rushing onto the field, it could also refer to the vast economic and educational benefits Tulane University brings to New Orleans and Louisiana. Let's keep up the good work.

Have a great weekend,


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