From the president: Reaffirmations

November 27, 2000

Scott Cowen

It is hard to believe that I am almost at the end of the third calendar year since accepting the job as president of Tulane University. It seems a fitting time to look back with a few years perspective and share a few reflections about the institution and its future.

When I accepted the presidency almost three years ago, there were three things that struck me about Tulane, three initial impressions that helped to convince me that this was a place to which I wanted to come. Those things can be summed up in the Three Ps--people, progress and potential. First and foremost are the people. My impression three years ago was that Tulane was blessed with a faculty and staff of talented, dedicated individuals.

And I was right. I have had that initial impression reaffirmed again and again as I have come to know many of you personally. I am impressed and pleased not only with the talent of our faculty and staff members, but also with the dedication and loyalty you have shown to Tulane University even in economically lean years when it would have been easy to become disillusioned.

I also looked around three years ago and saw a university that had made tremendous progress over the previous 20 years in terms of just about any academic indicator one would care to use. And I am pleased to say that, together, with hard work and careful planning, we have been able to continue that progress in the past three years.

By any yardstick we could use, Tulane University today is the strongest it has ever been. We are at an all-time high in undergraduate enrollment and yield rates, and the academic quality of our incoming classes continues to rise. Our reputation among our peers and the public is strong and continues to grow. Fund-raising is at an all-time high.

The reputation of our graduate and professional programs and schools is equally impressive and continual improvement efforts are evident on all fronts. It is vital that we not rest on our accomplishments but continue to pursue the elevation of our institution, and that leads to the third impression I had of Tulane three years ago: potential.

This university is poised to achieve greatness. I have learned much about the university as we have gone through our planning process, but one of the most important is having my initial impressions of Tulane's vast potential reaffirmed. We have set forth a list of lofty aspirations for ourselves to achieve by 2010 in terms of becoming one of the countrys top 25 institutions--aspirations we cannot hope to achieve without a solid foundation from which to work.

Three years down the road, I am more excited and optimistic about the university's future than when I initially accepted the position. Much work needs to be done, but every day now, I see people making a real effort to implement our plan. For this I am most thankful. As we are about to embark on the holiday season, I want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and a very happy and healthy new year.

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