June 7, 2006

Good Morning:

As we near the mid-point of the Lagniappe Semester, planning for the Fall Semester is beginning in earnest. One critical aspect of preparing to welcome the class of 2010 and all of our returning students is the appointment of an Interim Senior Vice President (SVP) for Academic Affairs and Provost.

I am pleased to announce that Professor Paul Barron has agreed to accept this interim appointment. Many of you remember that Paul previously served very capably in this position prior to the arrival of Provost Lefton. Additionally, Paul has been a member of the Law School and university faculty for over 30 years. Paul has been a member of the President's Cabinet since Katrina in his capacity as CIO and, therefore, has an excellent perspective and understanding of the challenges and issues facing the university.  Finally, the length, breadth and depth of his array of academic and administrative experiences at Tulane will serve Paul well in this appointment.

As Provost Lefton prepares to leave Tulane, we are fortunate that he is leaving a Provost's Office with a strong staff that has been working very hard to implement the academic reorganization that is key to the success of the Renewal Plan.  Under Paul's leadership and with his comprehensive knowledge of the university and the Renewal Plan, combined with his effective management and interpersonal skills, I know that the Provost's Office will continue to perform its academic mission.

During this interim period, all of the departments that currently report to Provost Lefton will report to Paul with a few exceptions that Paul and I will discuss when he assumes his appointment.  The Office of Technology Services will continue to report to Yvette Jones through Paul and a leadership structure that Paul and Yvette are putting in place.

This summer we will launch the search for the new provost.  I have appointed a Provost's Search Advisory Committee, chaired by Robert Hill of the School of Liberal Arts.  Committee members include Nick Altiero, School of  Science and Engineering; Barbara Beckman, School of Medicine; Rebecca Chaisson, School of Social Work; Rick Marksbury, School of Continuing Studies; Carol Reese, School of Architecture; Paul Spindt, A.B. Freeman School of Business; Jeff Tasker, School of Science and Engineering; Tulane Board Members Catherine D. Pierson and Linda Wilson; Ana Lopez, associate provost and School of Liberal Arts; Deborah Love, vice president for institutional equity; and Associated Student Body President Sara Dwyer.  A representative from the Law School will be added shortly.

We envision the search process will take approximately six months and we anticipate hiring a search firm to assist us.  In the meantime, any questions about the search should be directed to Professor Hill ( or Anne Banos (, who will staff the committee.

Have a good week,


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