Report Outlines Works in Progress

March 25, 2004

Suzanne Johnson
Phone: (504) 865-5714

pictures of the President's Letter Sprung structures are springing up, and spring is in the air--and those are signs of works in progress at Tulane. Construction plans and projects both uptown and downtown and at the Tulane National Primate Research Center are the focus of the 2003 Report of the President, "Works in Progress."

The annual report, found online at, was published as a website on March 1. President Scott Cowen's semi-annual letter to faculty, staff and alumni, which mailed about the same time, echoes the theme of the online report.

"Those of us who are on campus every day don't always realize how much change is taking place, so it's a good review for us," notes Debbie Grant, vice president for university communications. "Tulane alumni, who make up the bulk of those who receive the report, really enjoy updates such as this that help them stay in touch with what's happening at the university."

Outlined in the report, complete with statistics and project status, are capital projects from throughout the university.

Included are sections on Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II, the University Square construction projects, the University Center renovation, improvements to Turchin Stadium for baseball and the Goldring Tennis Complex, the planning of a new biocontainment laboratory at the primate center, the possible purchase of the old Krauss Department Store building downtown for use by the health sciences center, the planned Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium building downtown, and the two residence halls replacing Zemurray and Doris halls uptown.

The university's annual financial statement, with charts showing growth in enrollment and fundraising, also are included. Grant says a letter from Cowen to all alumni with e-mail addresses in the university's database--more than 37,000--was sent on March 1.

As of March 3, the report had been viewed almost 6,000 times. Initial reaction to the report has been very positive, Grant says, with a number of people e-mailing their responses to the site.

"I want to commend you on your superior level of written communication," wrote a 1993 engineering alumnus. "As an alumnus not domiciled in New Orleans, I welcome the annual updates." A 1968 law school alum wrote, "I am proud of the accomplishments that this university has made. I can honestly say that I stand up straighter, hold my head up higher and glow a little brighter every time I say, 'I graduated from Tulane School of Law.'"

There were a few grumblings from campus readers that the mass e-mail was clearly targeted at alumni rather than those who work on campus, but for most of the readers, the e-mail itself, as well as the report, offered an opportunity to communicate with Cowen and with Tulane. Some simply want to update e-mail or physical addresses, while others want to talk about the ever-popular topic of football.

One e-mail even came in from a 2001 Tulane College alum aboard the USS Thorn on the Indian Ocean requesting the President's Report in text form since he had e-mail but no Internet access. While the final number of "hits" to the website are not yet in, Grant says this year's report looks like a "hit" itself. "People enjoy the online report as a general rule," she says. "And this year's looks to be our most popular yet."

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000