December 13, 2002

Good Morning:

I recently presented the University Senate, Tulane University's internal governing body, a progress report on our Strategic Plan, the blueprint we developed in 1999 to ensure the university's continued growth and development during the next decade. This presentation focused on the "People" section, the first and most important initiative of our strategic plan. I am providing a link to the presentation for you at: As I give additional progress reports to the Senate, I will furnish you the information as well.

While I am on the subject of "People," let me address the new health care plan, an issue that has been on the minds of all of us lately. The rising cost of health care is a challenge for individuals and institutions across the nation. Virtually every organization is experiencing annual significant increases in health care costs and Tulane is no exception. This trend is what caused us to rebid our health care coverage. After reviewing proposals from across the country, the administration, in partnership with the University Senate, which includes representatives from faculty, staff and students, chose the plan we believe provides all of us with the best choice of coverage at the most affordable rates given all of the options available to us.

For some Tulane employees their coverage rates have remained the same. However, others have experienced significant increases that will strain their budgets. Even though many of you have seen your rates increase, the rates of the United Healthcare plans are much lower than the rates employees would have had to pay had Tulane accepted any other option, including the existing Tulane Preferred Health Plan. Most importantly, most of the doctors from the Tulane University Medical Group are also providers under the United plan.

I have heard from many of you on this subject. Let me assure you that providing affordable and quality health care for all our employees was the only consideration throughout a process in which the university had to select the best plan out of a number of unattractive options. We will continue to closely monitor health care options throughout the country in our continued mission to provide the best and most affordable coverage for our employees.

Have a good weekend,


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