January 12, 2007

Good Morning:

Like all of you I am shocked and saddened by the surge of crime that our city has experienced in this new year and I want each of you to know that there is no issue more important to Tulane University than the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

While the crime statistics on and around our campus are comparable, if not more favorable, to those at other urban universities, we are going to step up our efforts at crime prevention. In this spirit, I have authorized increased funding that will enable our Office of Public Safety to hire more New Orleans Police Department officers to patrol the streets surrounding campus. This funding will increase the number of officers assigned to areas most frequented by our students and university community. The funding will also increase these campus perimeter patrols to seven nights per week. We are also in the process of recruiting six new full-time officers for the Tulane University Police Department.

This increase in patrols and personnel will augment the many successful safety initiatives we already have in place such as our uptown/downtown Shuttle Service, Safe Rides program, escort program, crime alert e-mails and postings, self-defense classes and crime prevention orientation sessions.

All of these efforts have, despite the violence that has greeted the new year, kept on-campus crime extremely low; the same or even lower than that of many of our peer urban institutions. Additionally, the increased patrols, Safe Rides and Shuttle Service programs will extend the on-campus safety our community enjoys to the surrounding streets. It is also important to remember that there is now more on-campus housing available for students who may not feel safe living off campus.

But creating a bubble of safety for the university community is not our aim. We are working with city leaders to use the university resources to make our entire city safe in the short and long term. Knowing an educated community of young people with hopes and dreams for the future does not turn to violence, we have taken a leading role in reforming the New Orleans public school system and increasing our tutoring, mentoring and other volunteer efforts such as painting and refurbishing neighborhood schools. I can assure you that the reduction of violent crime in New Orleans is also the top priority of our community leaders and action plans are now being implemented to address this issue. Tulane and I are committed to and involved in these discussions.

While the headlines of the last two weeks have been grim, this situation must and will change. Many other communities throughout our country have faced and overcome similar situations and become model cities. There is no reason that we, through increased police presence, attention to personal safety, diligence in reporting crime and commitment to our community's children cannot do the same.

Have a safe weekend,


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