August 26, 2005

Good Morning:

Today, we begin a new semester of Tulane Talk. I place a high value on Tulane Talk because it gives me an opportunity to communicate directly with you on matters of both university-wide and individual interest.

So I will begin by telling you a little about my summer. In addition to my presidential duties, I spent the summer doing a lot of reading (e.g. Bayou Farewell, Freakanomics, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and What's the Matter with Kansas?), writing (e.g. speeches, columns/op-eds and book chapters), and relaxing with Margie, Gibson and our children who came to visit at one time or another. The highlight of the summer was the birth of our newest grandchild, and first grandson, Toby, on August 23. The summer was great but it is nothing compared to the hope and excitement I feel, based on the faith I have in all of you, for the new academic year.

Beginning next week, I will make the rounds of all the schools and colleges as well as meet with representatives from all the university’s key constituencies to review FY ‘05 accomplishments and discuss the priorities for FY ‘06. We will focus on at least six areas this year: (1) academic initiatives, including enhancing the quality and impact of the collegiate experience and increasing the size of the faculty in selected areas; (2) implementing the recommendation of the Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Equity; (3) achieving our capital campaign goals; (4) executing our ambitious capital improvement and expansion program; (5) continuing to improve the positioning of athletics within the university; and (6) continuing to partner with others in ways that strengthen our community. During our meetings, we can discuss at length each of these topics. As always, I look forward to your feedback and comments.

Have a great weekend,


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