October 26, 2001

Good Morning:

Well, after a lot of hard work by our staff, we have created a temporary home in Tulane's portion of Uptown Square for the more than 600 Lusher Elementary students who were displaced last week by a fire at their school. The students will attend classes at the shopping center until Nov. 5 when their school will be repaired. Check out to see how the kids have transformed the square with all their energy and bright smiles.

I spent the early part of this week at the biannual meeting of the presidents of the AAU, an association of the top research universities in North America. At this meeting the presidents of the various member universities discussed federal research funding, university collaborations, the government and industry, research accountability, science and technology, workforce issues and athletic reform. I will summarize our discussions on each topic and post them on the University Senate's web page after the November meeting.

At the Town Hall meetings held on Wednesday and Thursday I discussed last year's university-wide accomplishments in the context of our strategic plan, our major objectives for this year and the impact of September 11 on the university's future. For those of you who were unable to attend the meetings, you can find the presentation I gave at

I also wanted to let you know about the upcoming Presidential Symposium "Bioterrorism: What You Need To Know" that will be held Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the University Center's Kendall Cram Room. This symposium will include remarks from several Tulane professors who have conducted extensive research in this area and who have recently shared their views with national audiences via "Nightline," CNN and other major news outlets. This will be a great chance for you to ask questions and learn more about this issue directly from the experts.

Finally, I wanted to tell you about Elberto Gonzalez-Rubio B, who paid me a visit yesterday. This gentleman, a native of Colombia, earned a degree in architecture from Tulane in the early 1940s and went on to become quite prominent in his native country. He eventually rose to the position of Secretary of Public Works and in 1963 was appointed President of the Universidad del Atlantico. For his 80th birthday his family treated him to a trip to the United States. One of the places he most wanted to visit again was Tulane. It was a delight to meet him and his family. The visit reminded me of how Tulane can remain such an integral part of a person's life over many years and many miles.

Oh, and last, but certainly not least, I wanted to add two pieces of personal news this week that have occupied my mind. First, Margie and I became grandparents for the first time with the arrival of a little girl named Louise. It is hard to think of ourselves as grandparents but it does feel good. Second, Gibson had surgery on her hip on Wednesday and the doctor assures us she will be as good as new in just a few weeks.

Have a good weekend.


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