A Message From The President
September 9, 2021
3 p.m. CDT
I know I have said this many times, especially over the last 18 months, but I truly have never been prouder to be a Tulanian. I am grateful for how everyone in our community – students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni – has stepped up to the plate to support Tulane and one another. As I write this, I am especially thankful for the hundreds of Tulane staff and professional contractors who continue working around the clock – going room by room, building by building – to assess, repair and remediate any campus damages.
At the time of our first reopening announcement, just one day after the storm, it was unclear how long the city would be without power, with estimates up to several weeks. We held out hope that this return could occur sooner if the city’s electrical power and essential services were restored earlier than expected. Today, we are pleased to announce that this hope has been fulfilled. Entergy power has returned to much of New Orleans and surrounding communities. Internet service is expected to be fully restored to Orleans Parish no later than the end of this week or early next week. Our campuses are now fully powered and are currently being assessed and repaired for our safe return. Gasoline stations, restaurants, groceries, pharmacies and other vital businesses are reopening while area universities and grade schools are planning to restart in-person education as early as next week.
An overwhelming number of students, faculty and staff have expressed a strong desire to return as soon as possible. However, we recognize that some in our community, especially those who traveled abroad or experienced significant storm-related damage to their homes, are facing major obstacles in returning to campus. You have our greatest sympathy and support, and I urge you to contact your supervisors or deans as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements. I also ask you to read today’s message in full, which contains detailed information regarding the return to campus, the importance of flexibility for employees and students, and emergency funds Tulane is providing for employees and students facing storm-related expenses.
While we did suffer damage to campus buildings and power loss had a significant impact on the city and Tulane, the levee system held, and we did not witness the type of catastrophic flooding and other losses from Hurricane Ida that surrounding communities and areas of the Northeast experienced. This outcome has allowed us the opportunity for a nearly full semester of hands-on learning, research, living and work that benefits Tulane’s rich relational culture. It also means, as the city’s largest employer, we can bring our students, faculty and staff home to help revitalize and restore New Orleans and surrounding communities as they recover from Ida.
Last year, when many universities were forced to remain online due to COVID-19, we were able to bring students back for in-person classes thanks to one of the country’s most rigorous testing, contact tracing and quarantine/isolation programs. We also erected temporary buildings for social distancing, conducted half a million COVID tests and implemented mandatory vaccinations, masking and safety health protocols.
In this same spirit, and with many of the same safety protocols mentioned above, we will return to our campus home this semester to continue our mission of education, research and service for New Orleans and the world.
To the entire Tulane community: thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Tulane will restructure the fall semester to allow for maximum in-person instructional time, while also protecting the safety of our community.
- Classes Cancelled: Monday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 12
The two weeks of cancelled classes will be rescheduled at the end of the semester.
- Classes Online: Monday, Sept. 13 through Wednesday, Sept. 22
Classes will resume online only to give the city time to repair and reinstate power and other critical services.
- Fall break will be rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 23 - Sunday, Sept. 26
- Return to Campus: Monday, Sept. 27
- Final day of classes is Tuesday, December 21
That is, classes will continue to be held Monday through Friday, December 13-17, as well as Monday, December 20, and Tuesday, December 21.
- Study days are canceled
- Finals period is canceled
Because Fall Break eliminates a Thursday/Friday class session, we will make these up on Monday, December 20, and Tuesday, December 21. On Monday, December 20, students will attend their Thursday classes, and on Tuesday December 21, students will attend their Friday classes. Again, this is so we have the appropriate amount of class meeting times as required for accreditation.
There will be no finals period. Faculty may not schedule any exams during this period outside of their scheduled class times. Faculty will be permitted to use the final class meeting (or the final two or three class meetings) to administer exams. No papers or other projects can be due after December 22 (This is the day after classes end, to add in the possibility of additional flexibility). For some classes this likely means that the final exam is cancelled and the course grade will be assigned based on the material other than the final.