December 9, 2005
In a move that Tulane University President Scott Cowen called "the most significant reinvention of a university in the United States in over a century," the Tulane Board of Administrators today approved a comprehensive plan aimed at strengthening the university academically and more tightly focusing its academic and financial resources following Hurricane Katrina, which dealt a $200 million blow to the university in terms of physical damage.
"We have spent 172 years building a legacy for Tulane University as one of the greatest institutions in the country, and we are going to ensure world-class excellence," Cowen said. "That is the core of this plan."
The renewal plan approved by the board included changes across a broad range of university divisions, including undergraduate and graduate programs, the School of Medicine and intercollegiate athletics.
In making the changes, Cowen said, the board looked to ensure that Tulane remains a world-class educational institution, that the university's financial future is secured, and that the lessons learned from Katrina can be used to serve not only Tulane but other universities and communities. He also pledged that Tulane would play a major role in rebuilding the city of New Orleans.
At the heart of the Tulane renewal plan is an academic reorganization that will enhance the undergraduate experience for Tulane students and help the university focus its resources on graduate and research areas in which it has existing strengths, said Richard Whiteside, vice president of enrollment management and institutional research.
"The changes being made offer our students the maximum amount of opportunity to be successful--academically, intellectually, and in terms of their own personal commitments and aspirations," he said.
The academic reorganization involves a number of changes:
Although many of the decisions, particularly those that required cutting programs, were difficult, the result will be a smaller, but more focused, Tulane, said Lester Lefton, senior vice president of academic affairs and provost.
"These changes will make us a more student-friendly university, and will make us an academically stronger university," he said.
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