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Also in this issue

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VALUE <p><i>Bye bye Miss American Pie<br /> Drove my Chevy to the levee<br /> but the levee was dry</i></p> <br /> <p><img src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_new-orleans.jpg" alt="cartoon" align="right" border="0" /> Ok, the lines don't really make any sense, but it's the kind of tune you find yourself humming these days, weeks, months after Hurricane Katrina. A semi-literate pop anthem, a requiem by Mozart, a good book, the Good Book -- any one of them can contain the slightest nuance that you had never before noticed but now connects with you in a meaningful way. Pathos and irony are twin punch lines in the cosmic joke that everyone here gets.</p> <p>It's human nature to want to connect. In grade school we learned from textbooks that we are "social beings." Experience would prove this out as we learned to link with friends, plug into pop culture, tune in and turn on to the kaleidoscope of our culture as we looked for signs that we were not alone. That's why a song is better when heard on the radio or a film more engaging when seen in a theater -- because we are sharing the experience.  </p> <p>These days the desire to connect runs deeply among New Orleanians who were flung far and wide in an exodus of Biblical proportion only to discover themselves isolated from others by the communication blackout that immediately followed the storm. (Note to nation: cell phones have limited utility during a disaster.) Many have returned to the city after not seeing friends and family for weeks or months.  </p> <p>Exploded, imploded, scattered, gathered. People are reconnecting. To each other. To something other. Something big, something vast, something beyond themselves.  </p> <p>You connect with the strangest things. You see messages in the way dried mud cracks, or the way a waterline skirts down the front of a row of houses. You stitch together stories from the piles of debris or extract humor out of a series of abandoned refrigerators. You gain hope in the way people gather in certain spots -- bus stops and checkout lines. You watch the faces on televised town hall meetings as citizens line up before a microphone to make clear their hopes, wants and needs. Even local talk radio has been engineered into a kind of therapy, where listeners phone in to vent by the megawatt.  </p> <p>And everybody's a listener. Everyone listens to stories that others have to tell. Have to tell.  </p> <p>Compelled to tell, over and again: How high the water rose. Who stayed. Who left. Who made out OK. Who's back. Who's gone forever.....  </p> <p>"Be a tourist in your own hometown." A few months ago it meant something other than it does now. Back then, before the waning days of August, it was used as a slogan to get locals to spend their money in downtown hotels, restaurants and stores. These days, everyone's a tourist, looking at a changed city with fresh eyes. They connect the dots between what was, what is and what can be. They re-thread the lines of familiarity, tighten the knots that bind. Some are finding new ways to envision the city.  </p> <p>This spring, Tulane, Xavier, Dillard and Loyola universities are partnering in an interesting way. Xavier and Dillard, two historically black colleges, were dealt a harder blow from Katrina than their partners, and the co-op is a means to allow Xavier and Dillard students to use Tulane and Loyola facilities while their campuses are being restored. But anyone can see there's more going on than that. There's an opportunity here for students from different schools, different races, different cultural backgrounds to connect in ways they would not otherwise have. And who knows what might come of it?  </p> <p>If you come to New Orleans, prepare for the unexpected. The entire town reads like a page of hypertext, where any link can connect you to something you haven't seen or thought of before. In late November, the mayor announced that New Orleans had joined the ranks of only a handful of American cities that have free, wireless access to the Internet. This in a city in which a hundred neighborhoods were still without power. It's comical, and heart-wrenching and astonishing. The wheel of karma has hit a pothole and the world has changed. History is being made as we breathe.</p>
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FIELDNAMES author,authoremail,teaser,body,pubdate,tulanianvolume,othercredit,active,title
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_column_1.jpg" id="||CPIMAGE:1331837|" alt="tulwin06_column" title="tulwin06_column" vspace="0" width="300" border="0" height="275" hspace="0" /> When Tulane President Scott Cowen was named a member of the 17-person Bring New Orleans Back Commission appointed by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it signaled a new day in relations between Tulane University and its hometown.<br /> <br /> "It has become clear that the higher education community is the shining jewel in the city right now, and we're going to play a major role in bringing this city back," Cowen says. "As New Orleans goes, so does Tulane, and vice-versa. You can't separate the two."<br /> <br /> Of the city's four private universities in New Orleans, Tulane suffered heavy damage while neighboring Loyola University, whose smaller campus does not extend as far south into the flooded area, suffered less so.<br /> <br /> The other two universities, Xavier University and Dillard University, were decimated. Dillard's campus in the Gentilly area of New Orleans was inundated with heavy floodwaters from the London Avenue Canal break, and several buildings burned. Xavier's mid-city campus was likewise badly flooded. Both are schools designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.<br /> <br /> After Tulane formed a partnership with Dillard, Xavier and Loyola as part of the higher education "village" (see related story), Tulane officials set to work devising ways to make the partnership permanent, not only helping to rebuild the city but to set an example of racial harmony and help shape Tulane's focus on urban communities.<br /> <br /> "In the future Tulane will be defined, in part, by its unique relationship with the culturally rich and diverse city of New Orleans, and by the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina," Cowen says. "Tulane also will be shaped by its relationship with other institutions of higher education in the city."<br /> <br /> As part of the university's increased emphasis on urban community-building, Tulane is creating a new program, the Partnership for the Transformation of Urban Communities, that will support educational, outreach and research programs of national and international relevance stemming from the Hurricane Katrina experience.<br /> <br /> Tulane, Dillard, Xavier and Loyola will be partners in the program, which Cowen says is the only such partnership in the country. "Our focus will be on transforming and sustaining healthy communities locally, regionally and around the world, but will begin with the city of New Orleans," he says.<br /> <br /> The partnership will address such issues as race and poverty, social justice, educational policies and strategies for public school systems, and the physical development of cities.<br /> <br /> "It became apparent to everyone after Katrina that New Orleans has serious issues of race and of poverty. That is true of all large urban areas but nobody talks about it," Cowen says. "We're going to talk about it."<br /> <br /> The partnership, he says, will benefit all four university partners. "It will ultimately prove a model for other universities to follow."<br /> <br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm">From Survival to Renewal</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm">Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm">Renewal: Academic Reorganization</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm">Renewal: New Strategy for the School of Medicine</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm">Renewal: Community Focus and Partnerships</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm">Renewal: Intercollegiate Athletics</a></p>
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VALUE <img height="375" alt="Tulanians" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_allen_denisi.jpg" width="200" align="left" border="0" /> <h3>Charles Allen III<br /> </h3> <p>Senior program coordinator<br /> Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research<em><br /> </em><br /> <em>Charles Allen's home was extensively damaged and will require much work to be made livable. After five weeks in Alabama, he returned to New Orleans, staying at the home of John McLachlan, director of the Center for Bio-environmental Research, until he found an apartment.</em><br /> <br /> "Our CBR team was in contact with each other within a few weeks of Katrina and started working on what the post-Katrina world would look like, writing grants and supporting each other.... We recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to support a project called the Katrina Environmental Research and Restoration Network. This project involves bringing together a network of researchers, educators, public policy experts, community folks, among many others, to provide important and useful information as we embark on the immense recovery phase of our lives in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana.... I feel relatively good about my return and that of others. This is my lifelong home and I feel passionately about the city's needs and current plight.... The environment is one of the most important issues for the city and region, and Tulane has an opportunity to be one of the real leaders in this area for the whole world. We find ourselves in the middle of the most extreme environmental laboratory you can imagine.... I believe there is opportunity for all to show the world how you rebound and recover from disasters. There are so many lessons to be learned and shared with all."<br /> <br /> </p> <h3>Angelo Denisi<br /> </h3> <p>Dean, A. B. Freeman School of Business<em><br /> </em><br /> <em>The B-School's brand-new dean, Angelo Denisi, and his wife, Adrienne Colella, associate professor of business, arrived in New Orleans in June, only two months before Hurricane Katrina's arrival.</em><br /> <br /> "We made out just fine. We lost roof tiles, a tree came down, we needed a new refrigerator. We were very lucky.... We first went to Houston for a week and then San Antonio for five weeks. I spent most of my time answering e-mails about the Freeman School. We were inundated with questions about courses and credits, status of faculty.... The truth is, I don't know if I know how to get to Lakeview, but I've been to New Orleans East and the Ninth Ward and some of it looks like another planet. It is such a contrast to Uptown life that is getting back to where it was before Katrina. And everyone is talking about making a comeback; there is a feeling of camaraderie..... For the most part it will be business as usual for the school. We have revised the MBA program to incorporate several practicums of community development and rebuilding and are doing a similar thing for the undergraduates who will be required to take a community-service related course. Plus, we are encouraging our students to pursue internships in New Orleans where they can make a difference." <img alt="Tulanians" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_postell-mock.jpg" align="right" border="0" /><br /> <br /> </p> <h3>William Postell Jr.</h3> <p>Director of the medical center library<br /> <br /> <em>A native New Orleanian, Bill Postell lost his Uptown home to floodwater.<br /> </em><br /> "My neighborhood was on the other side of Claiborne from Ursuline Academy. It had great ambiance and spirit, with families of all ages and circumstances. But it was destroyed by seven feet of water. When I got back, all was desolation and silence. I'm fortunate to have resources; I was insured and able to plunder my retirement. So I bought a house over by Tchoupitoulas, well above sea level.... The medical library is fine. It's on the second floor of the Hutchinson Building and escaped the flood. Most medical literature is online anyway, so with communications up, we can still serve our students and faculty.... I couldn't be more enthusiastic about coming back. I've been at Tulane for 31 years and have had a love affair with New Orleans since I was a kid. My boyhood home was over by Napoleon Avenue, and on fall Saturdays I could hear the crowd roaring in Tulane Stadium. When I was old enough to sell Cokes at Tulane football games, I made a small fortune from all the tips from customers. I went to Jesuit High School in the '60s and was often in on the hiring of bands for school dances. Favorites were Deacon John and the Ivories, the Neville Brothers and Irma Thomas.... I've traveled around the country and abroad a lot; New Orleans is not an American city. All Orleanians are off center, some a little, some a lot. It's that wholesale eccentricity that makes our people so irresistible..... I had to come back to New Orleans; my identity is inseparable from it. I want to help rebuild it. Besides, try as we might, Orleanians rarely fit in anywhere else."<br /> <br /> </p> <h3>Nancy Mock<br /> </h3> <p>Associate professor of international health<br /> School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine<br /> <br /> <em>Nancy Mock, an expert in disaster management, evacuated first to Texas, then Florida. She returned to New Orleans as soon as Mayor Ray Nagin opened the city, coordinating students to gather information about the effect of Hurricane Katrina on the city and its people.<br /> </em><br /> "I began to contact students through a nola.com forum. We have started an initiative called RALLY: Recovery Action Learning Laboratory. We are helping in the recovery of the Treme district, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the city, by organizing a food pantry and wraparound community development. This activity was informed by initial surveys of the neighborhood and its businesses. We also supported the city's effort to estimate the population of New Orleans in October and November and will continue to do so into the spring. By providing good, balanced information we could help guide the recovery effort...The tragedy of Katrina should not be repeated; Tulane has an experiential learning opportunity to contribute to the global knowledge base of disasters and the recovery from them. We should be compelled to learn what we can and make sure it is well-documented and disseminated. We are obliged to do this so that the mistakes that happened in the recovery effort here do not happen again.... We can rebuild a New Orleans that is better than the city hit by Katrina. The news media exposed the problems here of urban structural poverty and we now have a chance to fix that. Societal learning is part of our business. Our work here is not only for ourselves or our city but for other cities that will experience future disasters. We should be learning in our backyard."</p> <p><br /> <br /> <img alt="Tulanians" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_grimsley-reubens.jpg" align="left" border="0" /></p> <h3>Faye Grimsley</h3> <p>Assistant professor of environmental health sciences<br /> School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine<br /> <br /> <em>Faye Grimsley's home is located in the Lakeview area of New Orleans, not far from where the London Avenue Canal was breached.<br /> </em><br /> "I returned to the city on Oct. 18, to find that my home sustained major damage from the floodwaters.... While away, I conducted as much business as possible, but it was a challenge since I evacuated to my hometown in Shorterville, Ala., a small town in rural southeast Alabama that has limited access to computers and Internet service.... My research interests include indoor air quality, bacteria, mold and the toxins they produce, and exposure assessment, so the storm and its aftermath will actually enhance my research.... Returning to the city has been a homecoming of mixed emotions. It has been devastating to see so many homes in ruin, but at the same time it has been rewarding to work with local and state agencies in trying to rebuild the city.... From a disaster-management point of view, Tulane researchers and New Orleans officials will be in a position to provide others with firsthand knowledge gained from actual experiences in dealing with a catastrophic event. Tulane also can serve as a tremendous resource for the city's rebuilding efforts; I believe the university's role will be critical since we are here, on the scene. We will have daily interaction with community members and leaders who are making decisions about moving the city forward."<br /> <br /> </p> <h3>Aaron Rubens<br /> </h3> <p>Tulane Junior<br /> <br /> <em>Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Aaron Rubens, along with friends and fellow Tulane undergrads Adam Hawf, Kevin Lander and Stephen Richer, created the New Orleans Hurricane Fund to help rebuild New Orleans <a href="http://www.nolahurricanefund.org/">(http://www.nolahurricanefund.org)</a>. We asked Rubens to speak on behalf of the group.<br /> </em><br /> "After Katrina, some of us initially thought we would simply raise money for the Red Cross, but we decided that because of our unique position as residents of New Orleans and students of Tulane University, we would try and start something more personal. Though we've raised about $70,000, we all believe that the most valuable resource we have for an effective, long-term rebuilding effort is the volunteer workforce Tulane University has to offer from its students...Our plan has three parts -- rescue, relief and rebuild. Early on, we helped to sponsor TEMS (Tulane Emergency Medical Service) as it assisted with the initial evacuation efforts. We also have sponsored three families whose homes were severely damaged by the storm. Our services have ranged from contacting FEMA on one family's behalf, to purchasing appliances, furniture, paying utility bills, etc. Our long-term efforts to rebuild focus on a program to bring access to technology and technology education to returning citizens of New Orleans who did not have it prior to the hurricane.... We have received more than 100 volunteer forms from Tulane students who want to get involved with our efforts. That is along with dozens of students from other institutions who have assisted in fundraising efforts. I see service becoming a major focus of Tulane, rather than a periphery ideal. Also, Tulane will have a much stronger working relationship with the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) of New Orleans, which will make our service efforts far more effective."<br /> <br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:1331821|" title="tulwin06_window" height="302" alt="tulwin06_window" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_window_1.jpg" width="300" border="0" />Universities are organic entities, constantly changing in reaction to their people, their immediate environment and the educational climate in general. Most change occurs slowly, over time. Unless, of course, something happens -- a hurricane, for example -- to speed things up.<br /> <br /> The financial concerns raised by Hurricane Katrina caused Tulane's leaders to step back and look carefully at where the university stood in relation to its peers, and where it needed to go. They also assembled an advisory panel of educators from around the country to help them keep perspective and lend ideas.<br /> <br /> "We literally looked at every program, at everything," said Lester Lefton, vice president for academic affairs and provost. "We decided early on that we wanted to focus our resources on programs in which we already excelled or had the potential to become world-class without a major investment."<br /> <br /> The academic restructuring approved by the Tulane board on Dec. 8 included measures that supported the university's plan to focus on its strongest programs as well as its desire to maximize efficiency.<br /> <br /> The academic restructuring includes the following:</p> <ul> <li>The Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering are being reconfigured into two schools: the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Science and Engineering.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>All undergraduate students, regardless of major, will matriculate through the newly created Undergraduate College, which also will feature a core curriculum, an academic advising center and centralized programs to coordinate community service projects.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>Five undergraduate programs will be eliminated: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering -- all in the School of Engineering, and Exercise and Sport Sciences, in University College. These majors will continue to be offered through spring 2007, allowing currently enrolled juniors and seniors to complete their degrees at Tulane. The university will help first- and second-year students determine if they want to change to another major at Tulane or will help them transfer to another institution.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>With the creation of the Undergraduate College in fall 2006, the coordinate college system, consisting of Newcomb College for undergraduate women and Tulane College for undergraduate men, will be eliminated. This is an administrative change that will not impact academic offerings.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>With the establishment of the new Undergraduate College in 2006, full-time students will no longer pursue degrees through University College. University College will offer night and continuing-education courses and will be renamed the School of Continuing Studies. Students already pursuing degrees through University College will be able to complete those degrees.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>The Graduate School will be eliminated as a separate administrative entity, effective in fall 2006. Graduate degree programs will be administered by the appropriate school or college.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>The number of graduate programs will be reduced from 44 to 18, focusing on those programs in which Tulane has established strengths and a competitive advantage and increasing support for those programs. Students in suspended programs will have until May 2007 to complete their degree programs. Otherwise, Lefton says, they can be reassigned to another program or will be offered assistance in transferring to another institution.</li> </ul> <p><br /> The result of these changes, officials say, is a stronger, leaner Tulane with a bright future and assured success.<br /> <br /> "But success comes with a cost," acknowledges President Scott Cowen. "And in some cases our cost has been very high."<br /> <br /> The cost in terms of streamlining and reorganizing the academic structure of the university, as well as refocusing its academic mission, has led to the difficult decision to phase out several longstanding academic programs as well as the coordinate college system at Tulane.<br /> <br /> The School of Engineering was hit particularly hard, with only its programs in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Molecular Engineering remaining and its identity as a separate school removed. "It was a difficult decision," says Lefton of the four engineering programs being eliminated. "We have outstanding individual faculty members and students in each one of those programs."<br /> <br /> They are small programs and expensive to maintain, however, and Cowen said a major investment of resources would be required to bring those four departments to national prominence.<br /> <br /> The five eliminated majors impact 228 first- and second-year students (out of a total undergraduate population of 6,390) and 53 faculty members (out of a total faculty population of 550, which does not include the health sciences faculty).<br /> <br /> For board member Rich Schmidt, a 1966 Tulane civil engineering graduate, the decision was a poignant one. "You are always torn" when facing this type of decision, he said. "I have a tremendous interest in the engineering school. But I think when you have a situation like this, you have to take a step back and look at the overall plan and what's best for the entire organization. There were reductions in almost every college. We tried to be consistent in our strategy and look at those programs with exceptional capabilities and focus on those."<br /> <br /> Also difficult was the decision to eliminate the coordinate college system -- Newcomb College for women undergraduates and Tulane College for men. Even though this change will not impact any student academically, both colleges are important parts of Tulane history.<br /> <br /> According to board member Linda Wilson, NC '57, the board is very sensitive to the fact that the dissolution of Newcomb College, in particular, would be of concern for alumnae of the 120-year-old women's college. Even though the curricula of Newcomb and Tulane colleges were made uniform in 1979, and the colleges' faculties combined into the Faculty of the Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1987, the two maintained separate administrative offices and functions.<br /> <br /> Wilson, along with Darryl Berger, L '72, heads a board task force that is assigned the task of determining how to preserve the Newcomb College and Tulane College names, traditions and endowments within the new structure. She says the integration of all undergraduates into a single Undergraduate College makes sense.<br /> <br /> "We needed to be able to consolidate functions such as academic advising and coordination of public-service projects within the new Undergraduate College, without having to duplicate services or having the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing," she says. Joining Wilson and Berger on the task force are board members Sybil Favrot, NC '56; Carol Cudd, NC '59; Jay Lapeyre, B '78, L '78; Jeanne Olivier, NC '75; and Schmidt.<br /> <br /> A website has been set up for the exchange of ideas: <a href="http://renewal.tulane.edu/traditions.shtml">http://renewal.tulane.edu/traditions.shtml</a><br /> Board chair Cathy Pierson says the task force will find a way to honor the Newcomb and Tulane College traditions going forward. "We are absolutely committed to it," she says.<br /> <br /> The third controversial piece of the academic restructuring is the change to Tulane's graduate programs, which will affect 112 of the university's 5,000 graduate and professional students.<br /> <br /> Cowen says the decision was, again, based on the strategy of putting available resources toward areas of proven strength. "Tulane will focus its energy and resources in graduate-level programs that have demonstrated ability to be world-class and, in the sciences and engineering, have the proven ability to obtain competitively awarded grant funding," he says.<br /> <br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm">From Survival to Renewal</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm">Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm">Renewal: Academic Reorganization</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm">Renewal: New Strategy for the School of Medicine</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm">Renewal: Community Focus and Partnerships</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm">Renewal: Intercollegiate Athletics</a><br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_stonelady_1.jpg" id="||CPIMAGE:1331737|" alt="tulwin06_stonelady" title="tulwin06_stonelady" vspace="0" width="300" border="0" height="287" hspace="0" /> After Hurricane Katrina ended any hopes of a fall 2005 semester at Tulane, the university's students, faculty and staff scattered to the four winds.<br /> <br /> All, that is, except the university's student-athletes. Athletics director Rick Dickson and his staff kept the teams together at schools in Texas and Louisiana, making them, in the words of President Scott Cowen, "ambassadors, carrying the torch for Tulane." (See related story.)<br /> <br /> The football team played 11 games in 11 different cities and though its 2-9 record wasn't what the team wanted to achieve, it had persevered, played strong and carried the Tulane name with integrity.<br /> <br /> So it was with particular difficulty that the university administrators and board began examining the athletics program in light of the financial difficulties brought about by the hurricane.<br /> <br /> "Given the financial impact on the university, what it came down to was either to drop all sports for some period of time, drop down to NCAA Division III or find a way to stay in Division I with fewer teams," says board member Douglas Hertz, A&amp;S '74, B '76, chair of the board's intercollegiate athletics committee. "Anybody who loves Tulane University athletics owes Scott Cowen and Rick Dickson a huge, huge pat on the back."<br /> <br /> What Cowen and Dickson were able to achieve, Hertz says, was the NCAA's promise of a five-year waiver from having to meet the requirements for Division I athletics, allowing Tulane to compete in eight sports for the next five years rather than the normal minimum requirement of 16. From Conference USA, they also received a five-year requirement waiver, as well as the pledge of a full share in conference proceeds during that five-year period.<br /> <br /> The downside, Hertz says, is that for the next five years, Tulane will have to say goodbye to participation in eight other sports that include some of the university's biggest success stories. "It was a matter of trying to figure out what we could do, to not put a financial burden on the university because we were having to make so many other decisions regarding academics," he said.<br /> <br /> Beginning in fall 2006, Tulane will have six Division I-A programs -- football, baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball, and women's track -- that will compete in eight sports.<br /> <br /> Suspended after the spring 2006 semester are men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, women's swimming and diving, women's soccer, and men's track and field.<br /> <br /> Yvette Jones, Tulane's senior vice president for administration, said all athletics scholarships will continue to be honored at Tulane. The university will offer counseling and assistance to student-athletes who wish to transfer to other schools.<br /> <br /> In January, she said, the university will form a task force to develop a renewal strategy for intercollegiate athletics.<br /> Hertz says the post-Katrina athletics review was a different situation than the board's much-publicized 2003 review of the athletics program during which discussions centered around whether or not to keep the financially beleaguered athletics program in Division I.<br /> <br /> "We've made tremendous progress in raising money for our athletics program from when we reviewed it a few years ago," he says. "But, that being said, we were still running a significant-enough deficit that it just wouldn't have been right to move ahead with all 16 sports programs."<br /> <br /> But Jones says administrators also believed it wouldn't be right to shut down the sports programs altogether. "We felt strongly that the city of New Orleans needed to have Tulane continue to be in intercollegiate athletics," she says. "There are so many bad news stories out there -- we feel it is important to provide athletics for the community and for our community of students."<br /> <br /> They are also mindful of the disappointment that will be felt by the 100 student- athletes involved in the eight suspended programs. "It pains the board and everybody else," Hertz says. "They have been a model of what Tulane University is all about -- having student-athletes who do well in sports and who do well academically."<br /> <br /> <br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm">From Survival to Renewal</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm">Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm">Renewal: Academic Reorganization</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm">Renewal: New Strategy for the School of Medicine</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm">Renewal: Community Focus and Partnerships</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm">Renewal: Intercollegiate Athletics</a></p>
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VALUE Suzanne Johnson
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:1331749|" title="tulwin06_tarch" height="305" alt="tulwin06_tarch" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_tarch_1.jpg" width="300" border="0" />The possibilities are enticing: a first-year student, excited and inspired by the teaching of a senior research faculty member; groups of students working shoulder-to-shoulder with local citizens to rebuild a devastated major American city; young people gathered around a common room listening to a guest speaker, joined by a professor and her family.<br /> <br /> Those are images of the "campus-centric" and "student-centric" undergraduate experience envisioned by Tulane administrators as they crafted a plan to make undergraduate education the centerpiece of the overarching Renewal Plan for the university.<br /> <br /> "The changes being made offer our students the maximum amount of opportunity to be successful -- academically, intellectually and in terms of their own personal commitments and aspirations," says Richard Whiteside, vice president for enrollment management at Tulane.<br /> <br /> The changes cut across the spectrum of undergraduate life -- inside the classroom and out. They also will make the most of the anticipated smaller number of students that will be a fact of post-Katrina life, says Lester Lefton, vice president for academic affairs and provost, who adds, "We're going to be a stronger university because of this."<br /> <br /> Tulane will not drop its admission standards for incoming students even though it will likely mean a smaller university. In mid-December, Whiteside said 86 percent of enrolled Tulane students had pre-registered for spring, compared with 90 percent during a normal semester. Pre-registration for returning first-year students was also down slightly, though officials were cautious about anticipating that all pre-registered students would actually return.<br /> <br /> "The ideal number of students at this particular time in our history is 1,400 first-year students," Whiteside says. "That is down from the 1,700 we had this past fall. The new number is consistent with our mission of the institution to teach the students with full-time faculty in an intimate environment and to make sure we are not stressing our physical facilities."<br /> <br /> The smaller undergraduate classes will be taught by full-time faculty members, which also strengthens the quality of the university's educational offerings, Lefton says.<br /> <br /> Outside the classroom, Tulane will accelerate its commitment to a residential college system. Incoming students will be assigned to a residential college, to which they will belong throughout their undergraduate years. The first residential colleges at Tulane that initially were scheduled to debut this fall opened in January. By 2008, when the residential college system is more fully developed, all first- and second-year students will be required to live on campus.<br /> <br /> And finally, the renewed focus on undergraduates will use the circumstances thrust on the university by Hurricane Katrina to benefit both students and the city of New Orleans. As of fall 2006, all incoming students will be required to participate in community-service work in order to graduate.<br /> <br /> Whiteside believes all the changes represent a "win-win" situation for Tulane and its undergraduates, as well as for the city. "This is going to be a wonderful thing for our students," he says. "There's a lot to be said for the fact that we're focusing so much of our energy on the undergraduate program and the residential colleges. Our students will have affiliations with their academic schools as well as with their residential colleges. They will have central advising. They will have a setup for public-service opportunities that will help them realize their own aspirations for helping the city."<br />  <br /> <br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=1331693,from-survival-to-renewal.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/from-survival-to-renewal.cfm">From Survival to Renewal</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77625,renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm">Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77601,renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm">Renewal: Academic Reorganization</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77662,renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm">Renewal: New Strategy for the School of Medicine</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77567,renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm">Renewal: Community Focus and Partnerships</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77613,renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm">Renewal: Intercollegiate Athletics</a></p>
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VALUE Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience
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VALUE Mary Ann Travis
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VALUE <p>Murky floodwaters still lapped at the roofs of houses in some New Orleans neighborhoods. University officials did not wait long after Hurricane Katrina hit to begin assessing damage, tallying up costs and devising plans to repair the university's campuses.<br /> <br /> Then a daunting realization came to Tulane President Scott Cowen and his senior group of advisers gathered in Houston. With 80 percent of New Orleans flooded and more than 250,000 homes substantially damaged or destroyed by the storm, what would Tulane faculty, staff and students be returning to? Grocery stores, barbershops and restaurants were coming back, but would members of the Tulane community have homes? Where would their children attend school?<br /> <br /> "You can't expect faculty, staff and students to come back without a place to live," said Anthony P. Lorino, chief financial officer and senior vice president. And if Tulane's plight was uncertain, what about the situations facing Dillard and Xavier universities, whose campuses had been decimated by flood and fire?<br /> <br /> The disarray and devastation throughout the New Orleans community became as great a concern as the physical damage on the university's campuses.<br /> <br /> To come back, Cowen decided: "We have to build a village."<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the neighborly thing</h2> <p>One week to the day the storm struck, Lorino set to work finding "absolutely critical" housing alternatives that in the months since have come to include a cruise ship that will be docked on the Mississippi River, a newly purchased $13-million apartment building, and pre-fabricated housing being erected at Uptown Square and behind the Reily Student Recreation Center.<br /> <br /> The strong community spirit of New Orleans shines brightly among its universities and colleges, said Cowen. The institutions of higher education are beacons of hope -- and powerful economic engines. If they didn't recover, the New Orleans economy could falter for a long time.<br /> <br /> Hearing about the situation at Dillard University, whose Gentilly neighborhood campus had suffered catastrophic flooding and for who three of its buildings had burned to the ground, Cowen instinctively reached out to Marvalene Hughes, Dillard's president.<br /> <br /> Rumor had it that Dillard, a historically black college whose history dates to 1869 and that had in fact been named for 19th-century Tulane dean James Dillard, might in the aftermath of the hurricane move with its 2,155 students to Atlanta. Cowen called Hughes and said, "Join us. We'll help you recover as we recover. I don't how we're going to do it, but I'm making the offer to you. You deserve to be in New Orleans. We'll figure it out."<br /> <br /> It was the neighborly thing to do.<br /> <br /> Ultimately, Dillard and two Catholic universities, Loyola and Xavier, joined with Tulane in a consortium that has helped all four institutions open in New Orleans. Adjacent to Tulane's uptown campus, Loyola University is a Jesuit-affiliated institution with 3,300 undergraduates and 800 students in its law school. Xavier University is the nation's only historically black Roman Catholic college, whose roots go back to 1825. It had 4,000 students, pre-Katrina, on its campus near the triangle of Carrollton and Washington avenues and Interstate 10.<br /> <br /> The consortium "affords an unprecedented level of cooperation" among the universities, said Ann Banos, chief of staff and vice president at Tulane. Tulane has offered administrative and classroom space to Dillard and Xavier, while each institution's students primarily take classes from their own faculty. And there is expected to be a stepped-up and fruitful exchange of ideas among faculty members across the universities.<br /> <br /> Banos, first on the ground in Houston after the storm, said Tulane officials made decisions quickly and with a focus on survival. It became obvious almost immediately that in terms of the renewal of the city and the higher education community, it was important to create this partnership [with Dillard, Loyola and Xavier].<br /> <br /> "We all have the same issues," said Banos. "As the institutions strengthen collectively, we will strengthen individually."<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>bring new orleans back</h2> <p>Before Katrina, Tulane students had the opportunity to be involved in tutoring or other service-learning activities in more than 30 public schools. But Katrina nearly annihilated New Orleans public schools, both in terms of buildings damaged (according to the Times-Picayune, 47 beyond repair, 38 with moderate damage and 32 with light damage or none) and students and teachers gone from the city.<br /> <br /> Talk was that the public schools wouldn't open for a year. Cowen and his advisers in Houston worried that displaced Tulane faculty and staff would not come back without a place to send their children to school. At that point, Paul Barron, a law school professor, reminded Cowen that prior to the storm Lusher School, a K-8 public school located on two campuses in the Tulane neighborhood, had a charter application in process before the Orleans Parish School Board. With Barron as its point person, Tulane had also been involved in a previous plan for Lusher, with its successful, arts-based curriculum, to expand to a high school, but the school board had turned down that plan. But the time could be right for bold action, and the designation of Lusher as a charter school affiliated with Tulane would provide a place for the children of Tulane students and employees to attend school.<br /> <br /> "Scott decided to entice the school board to approve Lusher as a charter school in partnership with Tulane by offering $1.5 million," says Barron. Tempted by the ability to replace the local funding lost by reduced tax proceeds, the Orleans Parish School Board agreed.<br /> <br /> Flozell Daniels, Tulane's executive director of state and local affairs, testified at the early October school board meeting in which the plan to form Lusher as a K-12 charter school was approved. In exchange for Tulane's support, children of faculty, staff and students of Tulane, Dillard, Loyola and Xavier were guaranteed a slot at Lusher when it reopened in January. The school board also approved the site of a new Lusher high school at the old Fortier High School building at the corner of Nashville Avenue and Freret Street.<br /> <br /> "Lusher has proven success," said Daniels. It was designated a five-star school in the school accountability assessment by the Louisiana State Department of Education in 2005 and earned the highest school performance score of any Orleans Parish school.<br /> <br /> "In the short term, the educational needs of the children of Tulane faculty and staff had to be considered," said Daniels. "But in the long run, Tulane is committed to improving public education throughout New Orleans."<br /> <br /> Recognizing Cowen's and Tulane's commitment to help rebuild Orleans Parish public schools, Mayor Ray Nagin appointed Cowen as one of 17 commissioners on the Bring New Orleans Back Commission. Cowen heads the subcommittee on education that is drawing on the expertise of successful educational reformers and interested community members with the goal of devising the best model for public school education in the city of New Orleans. Other than a few shining stars such as Lusher, the Orleans Parish schools have become a symbol of what is wrong in public education. Cowen and his committee, in conjunction with state and local education officials, are working to change that.<br /> <br /> For all these efforts, "Scott is the hero when it comes to education in New Orleans," said Walter Issacson, chief executive officer and president of the Aspen Institute, whose mission is to foster enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Issacson is also on the Tulane Board of Administrators and is chair of the national board of Teach for America.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the wounds of race and poverty</h2> <p>In the days after the storm, images of desperate and distraught victims of Hurricane Katrina, wading through water, gathering outside the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center or trudging down Interstate 10 shocked viewers around the nation and world. The vast majority of the stranded victims were black and poor.<br /> <br /> "The wounds of race and poverty got taken to the surface," said Cowen. "There is not a city in America that does not have race and poverty questions but, for the most part, we don't talk about them. They're below the surface. This brought everything to the surface."<br /> <br /> Tulane as an academic institution cannot "fix" poverty and racism, said Lester Lefton, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. What Tulane can do, and what it is redoubling its efforts to do, is study the issues of poverty, race and class to help provide solutions for sound public policy and deeper insight into these concerns.<br /> <br /> In the post-Katrina world, Tulane faculty members are re-thinking their roles as scholars in an urban community. They, on a personal level, also face the same problems as other displaced New Orleanians -- lost homes and disrupted lives. "The Tulane faculty has a deep commitment to helping rebuild New Orleans and to ensuring a first-class educational experience for our students," said Lefton. "We're looking forward to academically engaging with our students."<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>a nola mode of mind</h2> <p>The return of 11,000-plus Tulane students to New Orleans, a city with a population of approximately 100,000 in early January (diminished from its pre-Katrina population of 480,000), "adds to the nature and vitality of the city instantly," said Lefton. Students are encountering a small-town environment in rebuilding mode. New Orleans offers Tulane students a learning laboratory in policymaking and hands-on experience, from architecture to coastal erosion, jazz studies to public health.<br /> <br /> The village envisioned by Cowen and others will thrive, Lefton predicted, recalling what Richard Whiteside, dean of enrollment management and institutional research, always has said when he recruits students to Tulane: "There's no place like New Orleans."<br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE Village Voices
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VALUE Aaron Martin
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VALUE amartin4@tulane.edu
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VALUE <p>When the Tulane community evacuated New Orleans, President Scott Cowen asked the Green Wave athletics teams "to carry the torch, be the face and represent the name" of the university as they continued to compete.<br /> <br /> <img id="||CPIMAGE:570383|" title="tulwin06_football" height="211" alt="tulwin06_football" hspace="7" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_football_1.jpg" width="200" align="right" vspace="7" border="0" />Unprecedented agreements were forged with five Louisiana and Texas universities to host displaced Tulane teams, while the student-athletes enrolled in academic programs at each campus.<br /> <br /> "Probably the most heartfelt feeling I've had since I've been in athletics was when I woke up [at Louisiana Tech] and knew that we had a semblance of normalcy back in our lives," said Tulane head football coach Chris Scelfo.<br /> <br /> The football team played 11 weekly games at 11 different stadiums. Despite many off-the-field challenges, the team stuck together and claimed a pair of victories while suffering several narrow defeats.<br /> <br /> The football team was presented the 2005 Courage Award by the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx Orange Bowl, and earned the Disney Wide World of Sports Spirit Award.<br /> <br /> </p>
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title
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ID 1978
VALUE The Torch
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items - struct
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VALUE Suzanne Johnson
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VALUE sjohnson@tulane.edu
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:1331833|" title="tulwin06_gutter" height="362" alt="tulwin06_gutter" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_gutter_1.jpg" width="300" border="0" />New Orleans has long struggled with population issues. Before Katrina, the city had about 480,000 residents, about the same number it had in the mid-1800s, with most of the greater metro area population of 1.3 million living in neighboring parishes.<br /> <br /> With post-Katrina damage and portions of Orleans Parish not habitable, New Orleans' December 2005 population was estimated to be about 70,000. Before the storm, there were 5,000 hospital patients in the city at any given time; on a recent day in December, the number was 100.<br /> <br /> The city's downtown healthcare district, decimated by flooding, is nonexistent. Tulane's School of Medicine will have spent the entire academic year hosted by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston before moving back to New Orleans in May 2006.<br /> <br /> In light of the changing healthcare landscape in New Orleans, it was natural that the Tulane University School of Medicine would need to change to fit the circumstances -- nothing new for the 172-year-old school that was Tulane's first, founded in response to the yellow fever epidemics that plagued the city in the 1830s.<br /> <br /> As is true of other parts of Tulane, the School of Medicine will get smaller and stronger, with the goal of positioning the school among the top National Institutes of Health-funded institutions in the country.<br /> <br /> The downsizing of the clinical operations will result in the elimination of 180 faculty positions, approximately one-third of the total medical faculty of 545.<br /> <br /> Board member Martin Payson said officials had to face a basic fact in making decisions about the medical school's clinical operations: "They don't have patients in the city of New Orleans right now," he said. "We had a large medical teaching operation that had to be brought back to fit the size of the constituency."<br /> <br /> The medical curriculum will not shrink but will be redesigned, added board member Linda Wilson, NC '57. "You look at what is required to be an accredited medical school and what is required to be a strong academic research medical school, and then you do what is required to do that."<br /> <br /> Payson said community physicians will be recruited to supplement full-time clinicians. "The program will not be brought down -- it will be delivered in a different way," he said, adding that it will allow the medical school to partner with other New Orleans-area hospitals.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, areas in which Tulane has the greatest strengths -- gene therapy, for example, as well as organ transplantation, cancer, infectious diseases and vascular disease -- will be enhanced.<br /> <br /> Tulane remains in partnership with HCA healthcare, owners of the Tulane Hospital and Clinic, and has consulted HCA throughout the restructuring process. "We have worked on this plan with them and are taking steps forward that are optimal from their perspective as well as ours,"Wilson said.<br /> The postgraduate medical program will continue, with residents working at area hospitals such as Tulane-Lakeside Hospital in Metairie, La., Lakeview Hospital in Mandeville, La., and the Veterans Administration Hospital in New Orleans.<br /> <br /> Neither board member expects applications to the Tulane University School of Medicine to be affected. "We have so many applicants because this institution has a strong reputation for training doctors," Wilson said.</p> <p><a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/survival-to-renewal.cfm">From Survival to Renewal</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm">Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm">Renewal: Academic Reorganization</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm">Renewal: New Strategy for the School of Medicine</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm">Renewal: Community Focus and Partnerships</a><br /> <a id="https://authoring.tulane.edu/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm">Renewal: Intercollegiate Athletics</a><br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE Nick Marinello
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VALUE <p>The rollercoaster diaspora that marked 2005's fall semester has come to an end with legions of Tulane students and faculty reconvening in New Orleans in what will mark a new chapter in the life of the city and school. Along with the some 5,900 Tulane students able to enroll in colleges and universities across the country, many members of the faculty found opportunities to continue their research at sister institutions. The response of the higher education community to the crises caused by Hurricane Katrina was swift and effective.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_strip7_1_1.jpg" id="||CPIMAGE:996987|" alt="tulwin06_strip7_1" title="tulwin06_strip7_1" border="0" height="233" hspace="0" vspace="0" width="300" />It's already been woven into legend how two days before the storm hit, Tulane President Scott Cowen appeared before a crowd of students and parents gathered for the traditional freshman orientation and told them, in effect, to get out of town -- now. A university press release issued at that time said the school would be closed until the following Wednesday, after the hurricane had passed.<br /> <br /> Everyone knows that the university -- and much of the city -- was closed for a lot longer than that, but not everyone knows how the academic community around the country rallied to support Tulane and other schools in the Gulf South region.<br /> <br /> "The educational community has been phenomenal in its treatment of Tulane students," says Yvette Jones, senior vice president of external affairs. "Around 590 different host institutions educated Tulane students and most schools went out of their way to make Tulane students feel welcome at home."<br /> <br /> Many of those schools extended tuition waivers so that families were not burdened by extra expense, and others extended free room and board. (Tulane has said it will reimburse any tuition paid to a host institution.)<br /> <br /> Credit also goes to the American Council on Education, which immediately grasped the seriousness and scope of the situation. Two days after the storm, while Tulane administrators who rode out Katrina were still stranded on a darkened campus without communications, ACE president David Ward encouraged colleges and universities outside of the Gulf Coast region to make efforts to temporarily house and enroll students from storm-damaged institutions, adding, "The American Council on Education stands ready to act as an information resource to facilitate these and other measures that might be devised to assist students, faculty and staff at affected institutions."<br /> <br /> ACE and seven other higher education organizations soon issued a set of guidelines urging colleges that admitted displaced students to welcome them as visitors, not as new students, and not enroll them permanently once Tulane and other New Orleans colleges reopened.<br /> <br /> The generosity of sister institutions was myriad and reflected the nature and resources of each school. Less than 72 hours after Hurricane Katrina's landfall, Cornell University president Hunter Rawlings sent an open invitation to Tulane students and faculty. By Sept. 6, 193 Tulane students had taken him up on the offer, and a number of Tulane professors had gone to Cornell as visiting faculty.<br /> <br /> The visiting Tulane students were provided with housing, gift cards and free packages of school supplies, while Tulane students and faculty enjoyed full library privileges and study space in campus libraries.<br /> <br /> Baylor College of Medicine welcomed some 400 Tulane medical school students and faculty to its campus in Houston. To accommodate the needs of third- and fourth-year students, Baylor and several other medical schools in the area formed the Alliance of South Texas Academic Health Centers.<br /> <br /> With more than 320 Tulane students enrolled for its fall semester, Boston College took in the most Tulane undergraduates. With the support of the college's admission staff, visiting Tulane upperclassmen set up a mentorship program for underclassman.<br /> <br /> After Katrina was followed by hurricanes Rita and Wilma, ACE collaborated with the National Association of College and University Business Officers in creating <a href="http://www.campusrelief.org/">CampusRelief.org</a>, "a resource for institutions, students, faculty and staff to aid in the recovery from these natural disasters."<br /> <br /> Among its resources was a comprehensive listing of institutions offering temporary employment opportunities and services to displaced faculty and staff.<br /> <br /> And many Tulane faculty are returning with stories of how friends, colleagues and former teachers at other institutions around the country have offered living accommodations and research space.<br /> <br /> On Sept. 23, nearly a month after Katrina, Cowen appeared on a live chat sponsored by <em>The Chronicle of Higher Education</em>. In his opening remarks, Cowen said it was difficult to express the loss the city had suffered, but suggested that, with help, things could be made right. "Frankly, without the assistance of our fellow colleges and universities we would never have survived this storm," said Cowen. "Now we look forward to the continued support of our higher education family as we begin to rebuild the new New Orleans."<br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" height="196" alt="recovery and reconstruction" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_recovery.jpg" width="300" align="left" border="0" />After Katrina, yet another unwelcomed visitor arrived on campus -- mold, creeping up the walls of damp rooms, flourishing in the 90-degree weather and 90 percent humidity that makes New Orleans summers so much like, well, New Orleans.<br /> <br /> It wasn't long, however, before something besides mold and the amazingly resilient squirrels began to stir -- workers, sometimes as many as 800 of them, swarming uptown and downtown buildings, moving between noisy generators and bright yellow tubes that pumped cool, dry air into buildings.<br /> <br /> A recovery team of Tulane facilities administrators, accompanied by experts from Belfor Recovery Services -- hired by Tulane to handle the recovery work -- went room-to-room, assessing damage and prioritizing demolition, mold remediation and reconstruction. Belfor, an international disaster mitigation company, came highly recommended by the University of Miami, where they were wrapping up repairs from a Category 1 hurricane that hit earlier in the season. Belfor had also worked with Tulane after less-serious flooding in May 1995.<br /> <br /> <img alt="recovery and reconstruction" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_bldgs_newcomb.jpg" align="right" border="0" />The process began in Houston, where Tulane's newly designated recovery team, led on the Tulane side by Sylvester Johnson, associate vice president for facilities services, sat with Belfor representatives Mitchell Parks and Art Newman, poring over maps of campus. Johnson's team of Tulane staff included architect Larry Smith, director of facilities services architecture and engineering divisions; Karen Henley, director of facilities management; Shawn Lege, project and field operations manager; Heather Hargrave, director of facilities administration; and Mike Jester, director of capital projects.<br /> <br /> Less than two weeks after the hurricane, work crews stood in front of Gibson Hall, faced with mountains of downed tree limbs and broken glass that prevented access to the uptown campus.<br /> <br /> "The first thing we did was Band-aid the buildings to prevent more damage, and clean up debris," said Smith, who adds that his team did "'two years' worth of work in three months." Managing access to rooms and buildings has been "a little bit of a nightmare" according to Smith, with a constant stream of inspectors, contractors, mold remediators and insurance adjusters needing access to nearly every room.<br /> <br /> Generally, the teams worked from the St. Charles Avenue side of campus to Claiborne Avenue, although buildings were prioritized for attention based on their contents and the amount of work they would need to be open in January.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" height="195" alt="recovery and reconstruction" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_libsnakes.jpg" width="300" align="left" border="0" />The libraries, hard hit and containing irreplaceable documents, took priority. The Amistad Research Center, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Jones Hall and the Caroline Richardson Building were the first to go on "life support" -- dry, cold air was pumped in by generator to prevent mold growth in the upper floors and allow workers to retrieve damaged documents, many of which are now frozen and awaiting a cleaning and restoration process in Fort Worth, Texas.<br /> <br /> The recovery team cleaned and provided generator power to the Gibson Hall basement to house National Guard troops who, in return, provided security for the campus and access to high-water vehicles. Because of the lack of hotel space and a curfew in the city, Tulane and Belfor workers faced lengthy, daily commutes from outside New Orleans, some coming from as far away as Lafayette, La., and Vicksburg, Miss. Arrangements eased as hotels opened and finally Monroe Hall, cleaned and reconstructed, housed 500 workers. The quad by the University Center became an orderly maze of office trailers for Belfor supervisors, insurance adjusters and risk-management experts.<br /> <br /> Throughout the process, controlling indoor climate was crucial. Parks recalls 95-degree days with 80 percent humidity through September -- more than enough to encourage mold growth -- so even dry buildings received infusions of cool, dry air until air conditioning could be restored.<br /> <br /> Work crews swept through campus in waves. The first wave replaced or boarded up windows and made repairs to damaged roofs. The lack of rain between Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made their work easier. The second wave of workers introduced air to the buildings and the third wave demolished all wet or moldy materials. Once cleared by environmental health experts, the fourth wave of reconstruction began.<br /> <br /> Technical Environmental Services (TES), a local company, came in to develop the protocol for mold remediation and to test indoor air quality before reconstruction. Once spaces were cleared and cleaned, they were tested for mold particles using the same standard for environmental health that the university had in place before the hurricane.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>some good will come</h2> <p>As the uptown campus underwent remediation and reconstruction, teams were also at work on the health sciences center campus in downtown New Orleans. (The National Primate Research Center, located on 500 acres in the piney woods north of Lake Ponchartrain, had suffered little flooding or wind damage to buildings and was already back in full operation.) The health sciences center campus took a heavy hit from the post-Katrina flooding. Led by Earl Bihlmeyer, vice president of operations and facilities services, and Mike Guidry, facilities director -- both employees at the health sciences center -- the downtown recovery teams applied the same process being used uptown.<br /> <br /> Despite the damage, Bihlmeyer and Guidry stay positive about the disaster and recovery process. "There is some good to come out of all this because we had already been looking at ways to make the downtown campus more energy efficient, so where we have had to replace mechanical or electrical equipment we've been able to do it with the goal of ultimately reducing costs," Bihlmeyer said.<br /> <br /> He estimates the new energy-efficient appliances will save $1.5 million a year. Throughout campus recovery, administrators say Tulane has made changes that will have long-term impact: healthy spaces, energy-efficient replacements for mechanical and electrical gear, and placement of crucial equipment to make it less vulnerable to flooding.<br /> <br /> In many ways, the campuses also will be safer. Bihlmeyer said greater security is planned for building entrances and exits as they rebuild. "The campus is ready for students, and it looks good," said Jester. "There is going to be some finishing work that will carry over, but the campus is safe and functional for the students to come back."</p>
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VALUE <p>Reinventing. It's a familiar buzzword in business school circles and in corporate America. Daunting, this word, but doable.<br /> <br /> But reinventing the operations of an entire institution of higher education? With an emergency team of a dozen people, virtually no communications system, and with your entire university community -- students, faculty and staff -- scattered, literally, to the four winds?<br /> <br /> Picture Tulane President Scott Cowen on the night of Sept. 1, sitting on an airplane en route to Houston, knowing that more than half the Tulane campus is sitting in several feet of water, two-thirds of its buildings damaged, while the city that surrounds it is in chaos and 80 percent submerged.<br /> <br /> Extreme makeover, indeed.<br /> <br /> "It is difficult to describe what this situation feels like for those involved," the Tulane president wrote just before he was airlifted off the campus. "It is surreal and unfathomable; yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our focus is on the light and not the darkness."<br /> <br /> By December -- in just 90 days -- the light was shining brighter as nearly 90 percent of students had registered for the spring reopening of the campus. But that ultimate outcome remained hidden as Labor Day weekend dawned in Houston.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the eyes of texas</h2> <p><br /> <img class="float_right" height="422" alt="Houston" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_houstonwar.jpg" width="300" align="left" border="0" />Anne Banos, chief of staff, was the lone scout for the Green Wave expedition to Houston. Arriving in the middle of the night on Aug. 29, she served as the eyes and ears of Tulane, first finding a helicopter that could rescue Cowen and other administrators from campus. Then she searched for hotel space in a city already overrun with Katrina evacuees. A top-drawer hotel downtown cut its rates to accommodate Tulane, and the calls went out to bring the leadership to Houston. Some, such as Yvette Jones, senior vice president for external affairs, came from Jackson, Miss., where they had evacuated with students from campus.<br /> <br /> Why Houston? It was the closest large metropolitan area and a place with a Tulane campus, albeit small. The Freeman School of Business opened an office in the busy Galleria area a year ago to begin offering MBA classes.<br /> <br /> On Sept. 2 they had the first meeting. Cowen hugged everyone, "a really touching moment," said communications staff member Zack Weaver. The president's suite became the war room as the team began making lists of priorities, finding resources, seeking out people, rebuilding Tulane bit by bit. When there weren't enough chairs, they worked on the floor.<br /> <br /> Despite worries about their own families and homes, "everybody was focused," said Banos, who added that in those early days, "We didn't know if the institution would survive."<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>houston rising</h2> <p>Cowen beckoned Larry Ponoroff, dean of the Tulane Law School, to Houston over Labor Day weekend. Ponoroff arrived from Chicago, where he had driven with family and friends, an entourage of 12 people and a 110-pound dog. Like most Tulanians, his wardrobe was spare -- he had left home with two pairs of shorts and three T-shirts. "We thought it was going to be like it always is (with hurricane evacuations), a few days and back."<br /> <br /> Several failures in the city's levee system, however, dashed any hopes for a quick return.<br /> <br /> Arriving at Tulane-Houston, Ponoroff stepped into the situation "with enormous uncertainty" and he had two initial impressions of the Tulane team, already at work.<br /> <br /> "It was totally chaotic and remarkably under control," Ponoroff said. "At that point there were huge, very critical issues -- that's the chaotic part. But it was being approached very carefully, not in a panicked way. Scott very much set that tone in his demeanor."<br /> <br /> Yet everybody was traumatized. "There were huge unknowns, personally and professionally," but work was somehow therapeutic, said Ponoroff. "To have something to do, to have a major challenge to focus on, to occupy your attention and feel as if you're playing a role in the recovery, was actually very meaningful to me at the time."<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>issues, issues everywhere</h2> <p>The challenges and decisions were enormous. What about the fall semester -- should it be canceled? How would Tulane communicate with students and employees when the Tulane e-mail system was not operating? What about payroll, tuition revenues, repairs to facilities, all the Tulane computer-based systems, and housing and support for employees and students living off campus who lost everything?<br /> <br /> With the Tulane e-mail system shut down in a city without power, the university's emergency website became a lifeline. Uploaded from Houston, it was small at first but provided the world with the only reliable connection to Tulane. Daily messages from Cowen were posted along with other critical information as, behind the scenes, technology services employees labored to rebuild the thousands of e-mail addresses for Tulane constituents.<br /> <br /> Team members in Houston were assigned alternate e-mail accounts through Yahoo! so they could communicate with each other. A new roster of employees was started from scratch -- eventually a register was posted online for employees to "sign in" and list their new contact information.<br /> At 5 p.m. on Sept. 2, the most vital decision was reluctantly announced: there would be no fall semester on the Tulane campus.<br /> <br /> But through a landmark policy crafted by nine leading higher education associations, college and university students from Tulane and across the affected Gulf Coast would be accepted at other institutions. Eventually, Tulane students would be attending the fall semester at more than 500 different schools (see related story).<br /> <br /> Working to bring them back to Tulane for the spring semester, along with faculty and staff and a community to support them, was the largest task ahead.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>divide and conquer</h2> <p>In the post-K world, the task ahead was what mattered, not the old ways of working. The Tulane Houston Operations Group, as it came to be called, worked out of a single checkbook accessed only by Cowen and Jones.<br /> <br /> Job titles became obsolete as team members took on new assignments. Ponoroff walked into his first meeting and Cowen assigned him to run the academics task force that would plan the spring semester. Other task forces were drawn up to deal with such issues as housing (for the January return by students and the many homeless employees), technology and payroll. Knowing New Orleans would be without sufficient housing and good-quality K-12 schooling for the foreseeable future, the team realized Tulane would have to create its own "village" in order for students and employees to return for the university's reopening (see story).<br /> <br /> Being able to pay employees displaced by the storm also was crucial to Cowen. The Sept. 1 payroll had already been processed, with most employees having automatic deposits made to their checking accounts. But some 800 employees had not converted to electronic deposits and their paper checks were not deliverable. A team worked at finding those employees, sending the checks, and getting that group converted to electronic deposits for the looming Oct. 1 payroll.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the work to open communications lines continued, using the Internet in a variety of ways, including establishing an "ask Tulane" e-mail address, scheduling online live chats each Friday with Cowen and setting up a call center staffed by employees and volunteers.<br /> <br /> A January reopening began to look doable. The reconstruction crew hired by Tulane in early September to revive the campuses, along with the university's own facilities crew, worked toward a late December deadline to have the work completed (see related story).<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>mother nature strikes again</h2> <p>The Tulane team in Houston became double evacuees on Sept. 21 when Hurricane Rita appeared to be headed straight for Houston. The distressed team members departed the office that afternoon and dispersed to safety across Texas, some heading home to further uncertainty in New Orleans.<br /> But Houston and New Orleans both dodged the Rita bullet, and three days later Tulane-Houston was back in operation. The good news came on Sept. 28: there would be a spring semester that would open as regularly scheduled on Jan. 17.<br /> <br /> But how many students would return to campus? "We had to build it for the best outcome, assuming that 90-plus percent would come back," said Ponoroff. In early December, with registration numbers nearly hitting that mark, he added, "It turned out to be a good assumption."<br /> <br /> On Oct. 31, Gibson Hall reopened on the Tulane uptown campus as Cowen and much of the Houston staff permanently returned to New Orleans.<br /> The months of Texas teamwork made a lasting impression on many who participated, including Banos. "I've been associated with this institution for more than 25 years -- as a student, an alumna and a staff member -- and I have never been as proud to be associated with Tulane as I have been during this crisis."<br /> <br /> She singled out Cowen and Jones for showing "phenomenal leadership -- if we had to go through this crisis, I'm glad they were the ones leading us down the path."<br /> <br /> Volunteers such as alumnus Katie Yulman, NC '05, who came to Houston from New York to help out any way she could, also were forever changed by the experience. "I think what will stay with me longest is the unbelievable strength of the staff and Scott Cowen," Yulman said. "They had lost so much of their lives in the hurricane, yet were so incredibly committed to saving and rebuilding Tulane University."<br /> <br /> Ponoroff said he sees Tulane's renewal as a "product of good leadership, hard work and, frankly, some luck. There was no manual for this, nothing to go by.<br /> <br /> "Now the slate has literally been blown clean. In a lot of ways we have an opportunity to do things right and make things better."<br /> <br /> As Cowen reflected when he returned home, "Out of any great tragedy comes opportunity."<br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" height="262" alt="Tulanians during aftermath" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_primate1.jpg" width="300" align="left" border="0" /> As Hurricane Katrina's path targeted the greater New Orleans area, the Tulane National Primate Research Center on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain went into high gear to protect research projects, equipment, facilities, animals and human lives.<br /> <br /> "We had a lot to take care of, with a population of more than 5,000 primates, 110,000 square feet of air-conditioned space and 910,000 square feet of outdoor corral structures, located on 500 heavily wooded acres of land," says Mike Aertker, associate director of administration and operations for the primate center.<br /> <br /> The weekend before the hurricane hit, staff tested generators, topped off fuel tanks, tested the satellite phone system, stocked provisions and finally moved essential personnel on-site.<br /> <br /> The information technology staff secured multiple back-ups of the animal records system with one copy stored out-of-state. Thirty-six hours before the storm was expected to pass over the primate center, animal workers safely moved more than 900 monkeys from outdoor enclosures that would not withstand the predicted Category 3 or 4 winds.<br /> <br /> Key employees and family members hunkered down in the interior hallways of the facility to wait out the storm. The primate center sheltered as many as 65 people during and immediately after Katrina. Designated a Red Cross shelter, the primate center was able to obtain food and supplies, and staff members established a kitchen where at times 120 people were fed one hot meal a day, supplemented with Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) or other packaged meals.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" height="257" alt="Tulanians during aftermath" src="http://www2.tulane.edu/images/tulwin06_primate2.jpg" width="300" align="left" border="0" /> After the hurricane passed, there was no electricity, telephone, cell phone or Internet service, and roads were impassable. As the weather improved, staff surveyed the damage, which primarily consisted of downed trees and remarkably little injury to buildings.<br /> <br /> Facilities services crews began clearing the roads using chain saws, backhoes and tractors to remove debris so veterinary care staff could tend to the animals in the corrals. Over the next 24 hours, they also cleared roads to Louisiana Highway 190 and later the road to a nearby school where people were trapped.<br /> <br /> The center had stored a week's worth of diesel fuel to run generators that consumed about 1,000 gallons per day initially, without powering chillers. Six days post-Katrina, the center added a 750-kVA generator on-site to power chillers, which raised the center's daily fuel consumption to approximately 2,100 gallons per day. As the available fuel began to dwindle, staff members traveled to Baton Rouge, La., to buy fuel. The New Iberia Primate Center, Southwest National Primate Research Center, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others helped obtain fuel for the center.<br /> <br /> Despite the persistent floodwaters, on Sept. 6, primate center staff made the first of numerous trips to the uptown and downtown campuses to rescue animals and research materials from the vivaria. Then, at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they went on a mission to evacuate primates from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in downtown New Orleans.<br /> <br /> Eighteen days after the hurricane passed, the power came back on at the primate center and normal operations resumed without having suffered any loss of animals, people, research samples or even a broken window, says Andrew Lackner, director of the primate center. He says he was touched by the dedication, hard work and ingenuity of the center staff and the support from members of the health sciences center police department who worked long hours before and after the storm to ensure the safety of the center and its employees. Strangers also were willing to help -- he fielded calls from other primate facilities and research institutions wanting to see what they could do.<br /> <br /> "With this storm we have seen the worst of people in some of the things we've seen on TV, but we've also really seen the best of people, too," Lackner says.<br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p>Hell and high water. For Gerald Tilton, it was literally what he had to go through to survive Hurricane Katrina and retrieve the only thing he had left after the storm -- his Tulane University diploma.<br /> <br /> <img id="||CPIMAGE:571183|" title="tulwin06_tilton" height="256" alt="tulwin06_tilton" hspace="7" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_tilton_1.jpg" width="300" align="right" vspace="7" border="0" />Tilton, a 24-year veteran of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board who graduated from University College in 2004, rode out Hurricane Katrina at Pumping Station 19, a solid, red-brick building adjacent to the Industrial Canal in the Ninth Ward. One of the Sewerage and Water Board's essential personnel, Tilton is a supervisor assistant in the drainage department. His job is to make sure things are running well, dealing with operational concerns, maintenance and personnel matters.<br /> <br /> On Monday, Aug. 29, things were not running well.<br /> <br /> "Water came over the floodwall surrounding the station. It filled the pits in the station, and the water kept rising and came within about a foot of the third level in the pumping station, which is raised about 15 feet high."<br /> <br /> At the back of the pumping station, Tilton and three pump operators walked in ankle-high water, fearing they might be electrocuted if the water rose higher. They dismantled the motor and blades of a big ventilation fan to make a potential escape hatch. But seeing a vortex of swirling water beneath the pumping station, they realized it would be impossible to escape the building. They started bringing food, water, cell phones and medications up a ladder to the top of a crane, which might be the only dry space if the water kept rising.<br /> <br /> The next day, the workers at Pumping Station 19 peered into binoculars and across the Industrial Canal to Pumping Station 5, located in the Lower Ninth Ward.<br /> <br /> "I saw some of my guys standing on an elevated balcony in water up to their chests. I could see water rushing back out of the Lower Ninth Ward, so I knew there was a breach in the levee system," Tilton says. "It was a traumatic experience. I feared for my life and for the lives of the other workers. When I got a call from a supervisor saying we were on our own, that the Coast Guard weren't coming, that the National Guard weren't coming, and we could see the water rushing in, it looked like it was the worst-case scenario we had all feared."<br /> <br /> Tilton and another man swam through the floodwater to the generator building next to Pumping Station 19, hoping to start the generator necessary for the pumps to work.<br /> <br /> Two feet down in the dirty, foul-smelling water were valves essential to the pumping operation that had to be opened. So Tilton and another man dove in.<br /> <br /> "Within 24 hours we were able to pump at 19, but it was fruitless," Tilton says, noting that any water pumped into Lake Pontchartrain would return via the breech in the levee. "We had to wait for the break to be fixed."<br /> <br /> Eventually, the Industrial Canal breach was sealed and the Sewerage and Water Board was able to pump the floodwater out of the area. Then, only a few weeks later, came the threat of Hurricane Rita.<br /> <br /> <img id="||CPIMAGE:571184|" title="tulwin06_diploma" height="261" alt="tulwin06_diploma" hspace="7" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_diploma_1.jpg" width="300" align="right" vspace="7" border="0" />"Pumping Station 19 was the only one running in the old part of the city and I knew how to run it. We had done a real MacGyver job to get it up and running, with spit and bubble gum," Tilton says with a wry smile.<br /> <br /> It was more than a month before Tilton went to his home in the Hollygrove neighborhood of Carrollton to survey the damage there.<br /> <br /> When he reached his home, Tilton had to climb over an oak tree leaning on the front of his house. He figures that his refrigerator, sofa, TV and other furniture had been floating in more than five feet of floodwater before falling over on their sides when the water receded. The one precious belonging Tilton retrieved was his Tulane diploma, still in its green folder, resting on top of his computer desk.<br /> <br /> "It was a very emotional time for me," he says. "There was nothing else in the house I really wanted. I took it out of the folder, straightened it out, and put it on a clipboard in my Sewerage and Water Board truck."<br /> <br /> Tilton now stays at the home of his girlfriend, Gretchen Weber, who has an associate degree from University College and is working on a bachelor's degree at Tulane. She put the diploma, despite its water damage, in a frame and hung it on the wall.<br /> <br /> Tilton says the horrifying hurricane experience has put things in perspective.<br /> <br /> "All my possessions can be replaced," Tilton says. "If it's meant for me to have again, it can be replaced. Life is irreplaceable."</p>
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VALUE Through Hell and High Water
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VALUE <p>As television beamed horrifying images of New Orleans to audiences worldwide, a number of Tulane faculty, staff, students and alumni saw not just what was being lost but opportunities to help.<br /> <br /> <img id="||CPIMAGE:570343|" title="tulwin06_TEMS" height="281" alt="tulwin06_TEMS" hspace="7" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_TEMS_1.jpg" width="300" align="right" vspace="7" border="0" />Some Tulanians raised money for relief efforts while others took a hands-on approach to deal with specific issues, such as providing for the health and housing of New Orleans residents. Below is a small sampling of the ways in which Tulanians are reaching out, post-Katrina.</p> <p>- The Tulane Emergency Medical Services, staffed by Tulane undergraduates certified as emergency medical technicians, mobilized first as a disaster-response team for students evacuated to Jackson and then worked 20-hour days as a triage team in Baton Rouge and as search-and-rescue workers in New Orleans after the storm.<br /> <br /> - Four Tulane juniors -- Adam Hawf of Columbia, Mo., Kevin Lander of Boulder, Colo., Stephen Richer of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Aaron Rubens of Kalamazoo, Mich., took the fall semester off to start the NOLA Hurricane Relief Fund (<a href="http://www.nolahurricanefund.org/" target="_blank">www.nolahurricanefund.org</a>). Working through a website and a network of hundreds of Tulane students across the country, the fund has to date raised more than $74,000 through cash donations and T-shirt and bracelet sales. All proceeds go directly to New Orleans relief and rebuilding efforts. Funded to date: supplies for the Tulane Emergency Medical Services team doing post-Katrina relief work; and housing and school supplies for three New Orleans families temporarily relocated to Huntsville, Ala., and Dallas.<br /> <br /> - Mary Lynn Hyde (NC '66), Sandy Sanders (L '76), Carol Showley (NC '74) and other members of the San Diego alumni chapter helped organize and publicize a series of Red Cross benefit concerts featuring New Orleans musicians at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, Calif. They also collected Mardi Gras beads to give out at the door in exchange for donations to the Tulane University Rebuilding Fund.<br /> <br />  <img id="||CPIMAGE:570344|" title="tulwin06_eating" height="300" alt="tulwin06_eating" hspace="7" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_eating_1.jpg" width="300" align="right" vspace="7" border="0" />- Steve and Stephanie Wilcox, both 1972 Tulane graduates living in Philadelphia, worked with fellow alums Johann and Bethany Bultmann, who run the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, to set up an informational website, <a href="http://www.savenolamusic.com/" target="_blank">www.savenolamusic.com</a>. The site provides a "one-stop source" for people who are looking to help New Orleans' musical community.<br /> <br /> - Medical students Seamus Whelton, Michael Lindley and Jonathan Joliet, first-year public health student Megan Whelton and several of their friends organized an effort to collect supplies for hospitals in Katrina-affected areas. Lindley's father took time off as a tractor-trailer driver to drive a truck, and his company supplied the trailer. The group collected a large amount of supplies in the Lindleys' home area near Springfield, Mo., and drove through the night to the Lallie Kemp Hospital in Independence, La., where the supplies were divided among area hospitals.<br /> <br /> - The rage over rubber wristbands continues, and Tulane sophomore and Boston native Craig Karger turned their popularity to Katrina relief by selling green "Roll Wave" wristbands through his website, <a href="http://www.savetulane.com/" target="_blank">www.savetulane.com</a>. Karger plans on splitting the proceeds between Tulane and the American Red Cross. Another awareness bracelet, a purple one imprinted with the letters "NOLA" and a fleur-de-lis, was created by Tulane sophomore Josh Solowiejczyk and his sister, Arielle, a Tulane senior. With help from their parents, the two put together a website, <a href="http://www.touchneworleans.org/" target="_blank">www.touchneworleans.org</a> , with all proceeds going to the Greater New Orleans Foundation.<br /> <br /> - Fourth-year medical student Nathan Teague coordinated a 10K Run/5K Walk in Houston to support the students of the Tulane University School of Medicine, who are spending the 2005-06 academic year at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The race was held on Nov. 20.<br /> <br /> - Liz Williams (NC '03) and her roommate, New Orleans native Amy Scalia, set up a website, <a href="http://www.thegoodtimeswillrollagain.org/" target="_blank">www.thegoodtimeswillrollagain.org</a>, to sell T-shirts to benefit Desire Street Ministries and Habitat for Humanity. The T-shirts depict the state of Louisiana and the website's motto in French: Les Bon Temps Rouleront Encore!<br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:31320|" title="From Survival to Renewal Flag" height="267" alt="From Survival to Renewal Flag" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_flag.jpg" width="400" border="0" />In the mid-1860s, Southern higher education was in shambles. Universities throughout the South struggled to survive after the Civil War, faced with physical destruction, a decimated population and financial ruin.</p> <p>Desolate, University of Alabama president Landon Garland wrote: "The university buildings are all burned.... I do not know that the University of Alabama will be rebuilt -- if at all, it will be several years hence."<br /> <br /> When the university attempted to reopen in 1865, only one student -- the governor's son -- enrolled, and it was forced to close once again. Its plight was repeated in universities throughout the region.</p> <p>Universities were forced not only to re-establish their campuses physically but also to appeal to the new demographics in postwar America. The universities who best succeeded met the practical needs of their areas, offering programs to help rebuild the economy, train people to succeed in profitable jobs, and appeal to a broader segment of the population than just the "gentleman-scholar."</p> <p>In other words, they reinvented themselves.</p> <p>Fast-forward to New Orleans -- Sept. 1, 2005. A powerful Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 29 provokes the waters of Lake Pontchartrain to undermine levees and send floodwater surging across 80 percent of the city, where it will sit for weeks in stifling 90-degree heat. The downtown health sciences district, including Tulane and Charity hospitals and all the buildings of the Tulane University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, are sitting in four feet of oily, fetid water. Uptown, the oak-shaded Tulane campus is dry on the St. Charles Avenue side and under as much as six feet of water on the South Claiborne Avenue side.</p> <p>With damage on campus and city services down for months, Tulane has no choice but to suspend operations for its fall semester.</p> <p>The cost to get the campus dried out, rebuilt, cleaned up and ready for a January reopening -- including ensuring that faculty, staff and students have available housing and schools for their children -- is more than $200 million. The losses don't end there: how many students will return in January? Common sense dictates that it will be fewer than the 13,000 enrolled for fall. The fate of Tulane and Charity hospitals, which are so intertwined with the Tulane School of Medicine, remains in doubt, at least for the short term. Projected losses for Tulane's immediate future total about $70 million per year.</p> <br /> <p><img class="float_left" id="||CPIMAGE:31321|" title="Polariod of President Cowen" height="302" alt="Polariod of President Cowen" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_cowen.jpg" width="300" border="0" /> As President Scott Cowen and his emergency administrative team operating in Houston worked toward reopening Tulane for the spring 2006 semester, it became apparent that Tulane stood at a crossroad in its history.<br /> <br /> The options: wait and see what happens, dip into endowment funds and risk an uncertain -- perhaps even unlikely -- physical and financial recovery; lower academic requirements to appeal to a broader base of students in order to keep the numbers up and the money coming in; or hold fast to its ideal of world-class quality and make changes that will both support the ideals and lend support to the recovery of the city of New Orleans. In other words, reinvent Tulane University.</p> <p>Cowen and the Board of Administrators chose to preserve the university's ideals through reinvention, announcing on Dec. 8 a series of broad, sweeping changes across the entire university that they believe will not only ensure Tulane's long-term financial health but will result in a smaller, more focused university with more academic muscle.</p> <p>"We developed this renewal plan to detail the steps we must take in order to achieve financial viability in the post-Katrina environment while remaining true to the long-term goals of the university," Cowen said. The board worked with an advisory panel of highly respected national educators to develop the plan.</p> <p>Those goals: to focus the university's resources on programs and research in which it already excels or has the potential to achieve world-class excellence, to offer an unparalleled undergraduate education, and to take the lessons learned from Katrina to help rebuild New Orleans and then extend those lessons to other communities and institutions.</p> <p>Articles on individual aspects of the renewal plan can be found on the following pages, but a brief summary of major elements of the plan includes:</p> <br /> <ul> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>Starting in fall 2006, all full-time undergraduates in all majors will be enrolled in a newly formed Undergraduate College.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>Five undergraduate programs -- four in engineering and one in University College -- will be eliminated at the end of the 2006-2007 academic year.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>The faculties of engineering and the liberal arts and sciences will form two new schools, the School of Science and Engineering and the School of Liberal Arts.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>Effective fall 2006 with the formation of the new Undergraduate College, the coordinate college system of Newcomb College for women and Tulane College for men will be discontinued as administrative units.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>All full-time faculty at Tulane will be required to teach undergraduate students.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>The development of a residential college system at Tulane will be accelerated. All first- and second-year students will be required to live on campus in the residential communities by 2008.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>The Graduate School will be eliminated as an administrative entity; graduate programs will be administered within the schools and colleges.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>In order to focus resources into programs of existing strength, graduate programs are being reduced from 44 to 18.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>The School of Medicine will refocus on its traditional strengths of education and research, with a reduction in its clinical operations in response to the decreased population in its service area.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>Beginning in fall 2006, Tulane will reduce its participation in intercollegiate athletics, fielding six teams in eight sports in NCAA Division I-A rather than the current 16. Both the NCAA and Conference USA have pledged to exempt Tulane from Division I requirements for a five-year period.</li> <li style="LIST-STYLE: none none outside"> </li> <li>Beginning in fall 2007, University College will no longer accept full-time students; they must enter through the new Undergraduate College. University College will be renamed the School of Continuing Education to reflect its traditional focus.</li> </ul> <p>Overall, the plan eliminates 230 faculty positions from the university, following earlier layoffs of 234 staff members and hundreds of adjunct and part-time faculty and staff. Clinical medical faculty account for 180 of the 230 faculty positions eliminated.<br />  <br /> Board chair Cathy Pierson, G '78, SW '89, echoes the sentiments of the administration when she says she views the new plans with excitement tinged by sadness. "In order to ensure the survival of Tulane University we had to make changes. We had to cut the budget in a significant way in order to survive. So there is a degree of sadness in what we have to do.<br />  <br /> "At the same time, however, there is excitement about and belief in this plan. When you are dealt a situation like Katrina and are forced to make changes, you do a disservice to the university unless you think boldly about how to build the best research and educational institution we possibly can."<br />  <br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77625,renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_the_undergraduate_experience.cfm">Renewal: The Undergraduate Experience</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77601,renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_academic_reorganization.cfm">Renewal: Academic Reorganization</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77662,renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_new_strategy_for_the_school_of_medicine.cfm">Renewal: New Strategy for the School of Medicine</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77567,renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_community_focus_and_partnerships.cfm">Renewal: Community Focus and Partnerships</a><br /> <a id="CP___PAGEID=77613,renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm,10|" href="/news/tulanian/renewal_intercollegiate_athletics.cfm">Renewal: Intercollegiate Athletics</a><br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p>The name of the game when it came to women's education in the late 19th- and early 20th centuries was access -- or, rather, the lack of access. So it was a radical move in 1887 when wealthy widow Josephine Louise Newcomb provided $100,000 to Tulane University to, in her words, "advance the cause of female education in Louisiana." Over the years, as educational opportunities became more common for women, Newcomb came to mean not so much educational access but a sisterhood and support group within the larger educational structure.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:996826|" title="tulsum_06_newcomb_1" height="527" alt="tulsum_06_newcomb_1" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulsum_06_newcomb_1_1.jpg" width="350" border="0" />Which all led to the questions and highly wrought emotions surrounding the Tulane Board of Administrators' Dec. 8 announcement that, starting in the fall of 2006, all incoming first-year students would be admitted to a single undergraduate college rather than into one of seven colleges, including the 119-year-old Newcomb College.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the process</h2> <p>The Tulane board's decision to merge Newcomb and Tulane colleges came as part of a much larger <a href="http://renewal.tulane.edu/">Renewal Plan</a>, developed following more than $250 million in financial blows dealt the university by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The plan aimed at both financial viability and a re-fashioned Tulane, making it a smaller, more streamlined and marketable institution. Under the plan, all undergraduates entering Tulane University will matriculate through a single undergraduate college.<br /> <br /> When the announcement was made in December, eliciting the first expressions of protest from some current Newcomb students and college alumnae, a task force of board members and alumni had already been formed to recommend how the endowment and name of both Newcomb and Tulane colleges might be carried forward into the future.<br /> <br /> The Newcomb-Tulane Task Force comprised eight board members, all of whom are alumni of Tulane University. Heading the task force were Linda Smith Wilson (NC '57) and Darryl Berger (L '72); joining them were Carol Cudd (NC '59), Sybil Favrot (NC '56), Jay Lapeyre (B '78, L '78), Jeanne Olivier (NC '75), Richard Schmidt (E '66, G '67) and Matthew Gorson (A&amp;S '76).<br /> <br /> As the task force worked on its plan through the winter and early spring, the university community provided input through an open forum, an interactive website, e-mails and one-on-one communications between the task force and constituency groups.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the decision</h2> <p>After months of suspense, the recommendations made by the Newcomb-Tulane Task Force were approved by the Tulane board on March 16. The approved actions included:<br /> <br /> </p> <ul> <li>The newly created undergraduate college will be named the Newcomb-Tulane College. Students already enrolled in either Newcomb or Tulane college will be able to request diplomas noting that affiliation.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>The H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute will be established as an academic center that draws women students and all faculties from across the university in a "dynamic, interdisciplinary program" designed to enhance women's education. The institute's executive director also will be the holder of a Newcomb College Endowed Chair. Current programs such as the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women and the Newcomb Fellows Program will be a part of the new institute.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>The Newcomb College and Tulane College endowments will continue to support the programs for which they were originally established. Income from the Newcomb endowment funds will continue to be overseen by the Newcomb Foundation Board and will be earmarked for women's education and programming.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>The Newcomb dean's residence will house the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute, while Cudd Hall, former home of Tulane College, will house the administrative offices of the Newcomb- Tulane College.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>A single-gender residential college will be established in Josephine Louise House, reinforcing the university's commitment to women's education through special programming coordinated by the Newcomb-Tulane College and the Newcomb College Institute.<br /> <br /> </li> <li>The Newcomb campus will continue to be designated as the area bounded by Broadway, Zimple Street, Newcomb Place and Plum Street, and all buildings and departments that currently bear the Newcomb name will continue to do so. The full board recommendations can be found <a href="http://renewal.tulane.edu/traditions_031606_board.shtml">here</a>.<br /> </li> </ul> <p><img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:996828|" title="tulsum_06_bust_1" height="232" alt="tulsum_06_bust_1" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulsum_06_bust_1_1.jpg" width="350" border="0" />The task force found the process difficult but ultimately rewarding, Wilson said. "The new undergraduate college is a major, substantive move forward for women's education at Tulane. The Newcomb College Institute, in particular, is designed to be an academic center with the purpose of advancing women's education -- it will have a very clear focus and will be interdisciplinary in nature."<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the debate</h2> <p>Even after the board's decision was made, the issue remained divisive for some; disagreements generally center around whether or not Josephine Louise Newcomb's desire for women's education is being honored.<br /> <br /> University administrators and board members say the new structure is in keeping with Josephine Louise Newcomb's original intent to make women's education more accessible by including undergraduate women in business, architecture, engineering and public health. Those students were excluded from Newcomb College, which only included women in the liberal arts and sciences.<br /> <br /> "Mrs. Newcomb's legacy originally was to provide education for young women at a time when young women did not have the opportunity to get an education," said Cathy Pierson (G '78, SW '89), chair of the Tulane board. "If you fast-forward 120 years, women have plenty of opportunity to be in the workforce. We still want to focus on opportunities for women while also better integrating men's and women's education at Tulane. We are using the same legacy but operating in a different time."<br /> <br /> Other arguments for the unified undergraduate college include: providing a common undergraduate experience for all students regardless of gender or major; providing cost-savings by eliminating duplication of administrative efforts; and making new degree requirements such as community-service elements easier and more cost-effective to coordinate and administer.<br /> <br /> Those who disagree with the changes include a group of nine students and seven alumnae who sought to prevent Newcomb's closure in federal district court in late March, arguing that Josephine Louise Newcomb's original intent for her endowment has been lost, and that the women of Tulane will suffer from the loss of the Newcomb identity and traditions.<br /> <br /> Retired political science professor and former Honors Program director Jean Danielson testified on behalf of the Newcomb plaintiffs: "I have great skepticism that an institute can provide the loyalty that a collegiate experience can. To put the programs in an institute trivializes them."<br /> <br /> University officials, however, insist that the new structure will not trivialize the Newcomb programs, but will strengthen them by making them more accessible. "We are talking about taking what is special about Newcomb and making it available to all undergraduates," said Yvette Jones, Tulane's chief operating officer and senior vice president for external affairs. "The idea of the undergraduate college is that all of our undergraduates can have a much better experience, a common set of advising and programming experiences, and the opportunity to take advantage of many of the things that have been only available to the women of Newcomb College."<br /> <br /> In the end, the court ruled in Tulane's favor, affirming that the decision to merge Newcomb and Tulane colleges into a single undergraduate structure did not violate the terms of the original Newcomb gift, which left how women students' educational needs would be met to the discretion of the Tulane board.<br /> <br /> </p> <h2>the future</h2> <p>Fall 2006 will witness the rollout of the new Newcomb-Tulane College for undergraduates, into which all incoming first-year students will enter the university.<br /> <br /> Those first-years, the Class of 2010, will begin creating their own memories and establishing what will eventually become traditions. And four years down the road, they will be the first class of graduates to carry forward in a new way the legacy established by Josephine Louise Newcomb and Paul Tulane so many years ago.</p> <br /> <br />
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VALUE <p>Under the best of circumstances, orientation on Tulane University's uptown campus is frenetic. First-year students and their parents arrive in the city laden with the stuff of college life: electronics and linens, books and photos, icons of independence and lifelines to home.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:997325|" title="tulwin06_riders" height="228" alt="tulwin06_riders" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_riders_1.jpg" width="350" border="0" /> On the Saturday of orientation, new students and their parents are officially welcomed to campus by administrators and faculty members decked out in formal robes and academic regalia. Then there are the lengthy speeches and greetings that serve as an important introduction to the academic life.<br /> <br /> The fact that President Scott Cowen's 2005 orientation address was delivered in a yellow polo shirt and khaki shorts -- and that it lasted about 10 minutes -- was a clue that this was no ordinary year, and no ordinary orientation.</p> <p>"I pretty much told them hello, and told them goodbye," Cowen recalls.<br /> <br /> By that time, 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, Tulane was in full hurricane mode, something that 12 hours earlier had seemed inconceivable as Hurricane Katrina, then bound for the Florida Panhandle, was no apparent threat.<br /> <br /> But by Saturday morning, the storm that kept shifting westward had settled on a new target: the Greater New Orleans area, where it was expected to make landfall as a major hurricane.<br /> <br /> "The staff gathered at 8 a.m. on Saturday to talk about what we should do with the 1,700 students and their families who were coming to campus that day," Cowen says. "We allowed them to check into the residence halls and move their stuff in before meeting in McAlister at 1 p.m. Then we sent them all home."<br /> <br /> Not all could return home on short notice, so buses -- contracted in advance as part of the university's hurricane plan -- headed out late Saturday carrying 600 students and several of Tulane's senior administrators to a gymnasium at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.<br /> <br /> </p> <h3>BEFORE THE DELUGE<br /> </h3> <p>Being in New Orleans, of course, Tulane has a hurricane plan for just such a visitor as Katrina. For a Category 4 or 5 storm, everyone evacuates except about 30 people on the uptown campus and about 100 downtown at the health sciences center. Among those required to stay are the president, key administrators and essential buildings and grounds personnel.<br /> <br /> Bob Voltz, electrical superintendent for Tulane facilities services, has been riding out hurricanes on the uptown campus for more than 20 years, so he and electrician Brian Oubre were to hunker down in the campus power plant while Tracy Boudreaux, a carpenter, and Juan Perez, a vehicle mechanic, waited in Lafayette, La. Once the storm passed, Boudreaux and Perez would return to campus with food and supplies.<br /> <br /> Farther north on campus, at the Reily Student Recreation Center, Cowen and four senior administrators gathered on Sunday with air mattresses and radios, laptops and cell phones. "We were ready," Cowen said. "We had power, we had water, we had sewer, we had enough food to last a couple of days, and we had communications."<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:997329|" title="tulwin06_heroes2" height="239" alt="tulwin06_heroes2" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_heroes2_1.jpg" width="300" border="0" />About 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 29, Katrina blew ashore. Although a last-minute jog caused the brunt of the powerful storm to hit the Louisiana/Missisippi border about 30 miles east of the city, wind gusts downtown were clocked at more than 140 miles per hour.<br /> <br /> On campus, windows broke, trees toppled, limbs cracked. In the power plant, Voltz and Oubre took turns dashing 50 yards through hard-blowing rain to check the Willow Street electrical substation. At the Reily Center, the administrative team kept the building secure as doors blew open and windows shook.<br /> <br /> Twelve hours later, it appeared to be over. Thanks to the pre-storm decision to switch to the on-campus electrical generator, essential campus buildings still had electricity, even though the city did not.<br /> <br /> "About 5 p.m on Monday we ventured out of the Reily Center to see what was going on," Cowen says. "There was debris all over the place -- more debris than you can imagine -- but there was no water except a little standing water from the rain. We walked around campus -- there were some windows broken, some roof tiles blown off. I remember thinking that it wasn't so bad. It was just a matter of cleaning up and patching."<br /> <br /> </p> <h3>WATERWORLD</h3> <p>As Cowen and his team returned to the Reily Center they heard that several levees had broken, and decided to spend another night on campus to see if Tulane would experience any effect. They awoke on Tuesday to a surreal scene: water -- lots of it -- making their second-floor space at the Reily Center a virtual island.<br /> <br /> "And then all hell broke loose," Cowen says. "We lost power, we lost water pressure, sewer and all communications. Satellite phones didn't work, cell phones didn't work -- nothing. We didn't know what was going on with the other 25 people on the uptown campus, or the 100 people downtown, not to mention the hospital with patients." (See related story)<br /> <br /> Cowen was about to learn a valuable lesson in wireless technology. His cell phone, rendered useless after the flooding began, started to ping. "It said I had a text message. I had never used text messaging in my entire life -- I had no idea what it was, who it came from, or how to respond to it." It was his daughter in New York, and he quickly learned the ins and outs of text messaging, the only form of communication still working.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:997330|" title="tulwin06_boat" height="266" alt="tulwin06_boat" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_boat_1.jpg" width="300" border="0" />The next task was to gather the people on the uptown campus to the second floor of Reily. "The night before the storm, Tony Lorino [Tulane chief financial officer] told me he had found some boats under the Reily Center," Cowen says. "We had two kayaks and a 16-foot motorboat that I thought was useless -- the motor was disassembled, there was a big hole in the side of the boat, there was no gas in the tank and no steering wheel. But we got it out anyway."<br /> <br /> Later that morning, flat boats carrying the other uptown employees arrived, raising the Reily population to 30. Food was running short, so Cowen, accompanied by Brian Oubre, went foraging.<br /> <br /> "I have a public confession," Cowen laughs. "I broke into every building on campus where there was food." The biggest haul came from Bruff Commons.<br /> <br /> The additional boats from the facilities crew had created an armada whose unlikely centerpiece was the forlorn motorboat.<br /> <br /> "Those guys are the unsung heroes of this story," Cowen says of the facilities crew. "They saw the broken-down motorboat and said, 'Don't worry -- we'll fix it.' Four hours later, the boat is fully functional -- they put the engine back together, they plugged the hole, they siphoned gas out of the cars parked in the Diboll garage -- we all siphoned gas throughout the week. I asked them where they got the steering wheel, but they said I didn't want to know."<br /> <br /> The next two days passed in a blur of water and eerie silence. They slept on the Reily Center roof, where it was a little cooler and the air fresher, and watched fires burn untended in the distance. "We lost track of time," Oubre says.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:997331|" title="tulwin06_heroes" height="267" alt="tulwin06_heroes" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_heroes_1.jpg" width="300" border="0" />By Thursday, the students in Jackson had been dispersed to their homes, and the rest of the Tulane administration was beginning to coalesce in Houston, which would become "Tulane Central" for the coming months. "When I left on Thursday, those guys would not leave," Cowen says of the facilities services staff. "They never left."<br /> <br /> They did, however, manage through sheer ingenuity to get Cowen and the other administrators to the river, where a helicopter would pick them up. First, a boat took them away from Reily, then they hopped a hot-wired golf cart to the St. Charles Avenue side of campus. From there, a dump truck took them to the river and a waiting helicopter. Between food-thievery, vehicle hot-wiring and gas-siphoning, Cowen jokes that he has learned a new set of skills.<br /> <br /> As the president and his administrative team left the city, Voltz, Oubre, Boudreaux, Perez and other facilities workers remained on campus, ready to begin the cleanup as soon as the water receded. They checked buildings -- once observing a bass swim through the door of the sheet-metal shop. They slept on the roof of the Reily Center and watched the helicopters pass overhead, dropping Meals Ready to Eat. During the days, they'd take the boats out into the surrounding neighborhoods, looking for those who needed help.<br /> <br /> They began clearing the dry parts of campus. "We would go out in canoes to clear trees and then go back to the island [Reily Center]," Boudreaux says. They stayed on the island for eight days.<br /> <br /> It is eight days they will never forget. "I've got stories to tell my kids," Perez says.<br /> <br /> <br /> </p> <br />
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VALUE <p><img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:1282600|" title="Tulane hospital post-Katrina" height="243" alt="Tulane hospital post-Katrina" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_HSC_2.jpg" width="300" border="0" />The administrative group of Tulane University Hospital and Clinic met the Saturday before Hurricane Katrina arrived, beginning a familiar series of routine hurricane preparations.<br /> <br /> Putting the crisis plans into place, administrators discharged all patients who were well enough to leave the hospital on Tulane Avenue, leaving 180 patients still hospitalized.</p> <p>After the hurricane passed New Orleans on Monday, first inspections revealed minor damage -- awnings blown off, a few broken windows and some roof damage, but overall the downtown facility held up well. Even though the hospital was on emergency generator power, administrators cheered that the hospital had "absorbed the best punch that nature could throw and we seemed intact," says Jim Montgomery, president and CEO.<br />  <br /> But a few hours later, at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Montgomery awoke to the biggest crisis of his life when he learned that flood-water was rising in the boiler room at the rate of a foot an hour.<br />  <br /> "We had seven patients on ventilators whose lives would be in jeopardy, and we had to move fast to get them out," Montgomery says.<br />  <br /> The hospital was without boats or a helicopter pad. It did have a rooftop parking deck sturdy enough to support a helicopter, but it was occupied by four light poles. "What happened in the next four hours was nothing short of a miracle," says Montgomery.<br />  <br /> The hospital's maintenance staff removed the light poles, an ambulance service agreed to lift out critical patients, and hospital administrators quickly made plans to take them to sister hospitals administered by HCA (Hospital Corporation of America). Just after sunrise on Tuesday, helicopters landed on the hospital garage roof and began transporting patients. By then, the water was rising more slowly, at the rate of one inch per hour.<br />  <br /> <img class="float_right" id="||CPIMAGE:1282603|" title="Flooding near Tulane hospital post-Katrina" height="250" alt="Flooding near Tulane hospital post-Katrina" hspace="0" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_HSC2_2.jpg" width="300" border="0" />Initially, Montgomery had no idea why the water was rising. "We had to assume that it would keep rising and we would lose power," Montgomery says.<br /> <br /> Without electrical power, the hospital would have no lights or air conditioning as the heat soared into the 90s, no elevators, no telephones or other communication systems, no oxygen or suctioning for patients -- in essence, the hospital would lose everything that is vital to good care.<br /> <br /> As physicians and nurses began to triage patients, hospital staff determined what vital supplies needed replenishing. In the meantime, HCA worked frantically to coordinate transportation to rescue the remaining patients and eventually the staff -- a total of about 1,200 individuals.<br />  <br /> "Our staff performed like clockwork and it was a beautiful thing to observe. Our success in this week is simply measured by the fact that we didn't lose a patient during this trying time," Montgomery says.<br />  <br /> Late on Tuesday the hospital ran out of fuel, the generators shut down, the elevators stopped working and the building began to get hot. To evacuate patients, employees carried them down dark stairwells to the second-floor garage walkway, careful to keep I.V. lines, oxygen and intubation tubes in place. Once over the walkway, the employees placed patients onto the back of pickup trucks, which then proceeded up six stories to the garage roof.<br />  <br /> By the third day, everyone was feeling stressed. The city sewer system was backing up and spilling out, creating an acrid smell that made it difficult to breathe. No water pressure meant no baths. At night, weary healthcare workers slept on the roof because it was cooler than inside the building. They survived on strawberry Pop Tarts, honey oat bars and canned tuna.<br />  <br /> In time, workers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries came to the hospital on boats to help evacuate patients with chronic conditions that the hospital had taken in from the Superdome. At first, small helicopters landed on the roof, then Black-hawks appeared that could move up to four patients with some additional staff.<br />  <br /> The flight coordinator determined that a Chinook helicopter could land on the makeshift helipad as long as the double rotors kept moving so its full weight wouldn't rest on the roof.<br />  <br /> Within a few hours, everyone had been rescued from Tulane University Hospital and Clinic.<br />  <br /> "This was the worst and most difficult challenge I have ever been involved with," Montgomery says, "but at the same time I don't think I've ever felt as great a sense of accomplishment."<br /> <br /> </p>
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VALUE <p>When Hurricane Katrina struck, Tulane's research programs were suddenly put on hold. Power outages, then water damage, threatened research projects. Despite the most inhospitable of conditions, scientists and staff returned to lab spaces to save what they could.<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_research1_1_1.jpg" id="||CPIMAGE:997418|" alt="tulwin06_research1_1" title="tulwin06_research1_1" border="0" height="239" hspace="0" vspace="0" width="300" />With no electrical power, the J. Bennett Johnston Health and Environmental Research Building, Tidewater Building and the medical school buildings downtown had thigh-high floodwater in their first floors and irreplaceable biological specimens at risk in freezers and refrigerators. The various samples represented decades of research by Tulane scientists, and the work of nearly 300 funded investigators was in jeopardy.<br /> <br /> "On Sept. 10, the institution started recovery operations," says John Clements, chair of the microbiology and immunology department.<br /> <br /> Clements, not only a scientist himself but also a Marine who spent several months in Iraq in 2003, oversaw the recovery effort on the downtown campus. After the hurricane, he performed myriad duties, including overseeing a "tank farm" consisting of rows of liquid nitrogen tanks holding valuable cell lines and samples.<br /> <br /> Teams rescued hundreds of animals, including irreplaceable transgenic mice from the health sciences and uptown vivaria and transported them to the Tulane National Primate Research Center.<br /> <br /> "All the research programs at Tulane were affected," says Laura Levy, associate senior vice president for research. In addition to the physical losses, Levy says it will be important to quantify the lost time and lost opportunity. "It would be a mistake to put an estimate on our losses at this point, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn it amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars."<br /> <br /> <img class="float_right" src="/news/tulanian/images/tulwin06_research2_1_1.jpg" id="||CPIMAGE:997421|" alt="tulwin06_research2_1" title="tulwin06_research2_1" border="0" height="227" hspace="0" vspace="0" width="300" />Darwin Prockop, an international leader in adult stem cell research, says the gene therapy group recovered the most valuable and important adult stem cell lines at Tulane.<br /> <br /> Public health and population science projects, including the Bogalusa Heart Study, suffered a severe blow, says Paul Whelton, senior vice president for health sciences. Led by cardiologist Gerald Berenson, the Bogalusa Heart Study is the longest-running biracial study of risk factors for heart disease. Thousands of frozen urine and blood samples collected from patients enrolled in research projects since 1973 thawed and were destroyed.<br /> <br /> Fortunately, Berenson was able to retrieve computer data already collected. "The Bogalusa Heart Study will go on," Berenson says. "We'll just have to pick up the pieces from what we have."<br /> <br /> Gary McPherson, associate dean of the liberal arts and sciences, was concerned about potential damage in the sub-basement of Percival Stern Hall on the uptown campus, home of laboratories containing sophisticated and expensive equipment. As soon as possible following Hurricane Katrina, McPherson rushed to Stern to preserve several nuclear magnetic resonance machines, costing as much as $1.5 million, scrambling to add more liquid helium to keep the equipment cool.<br /> <br /> David Mullin, chair of cell and molecular biology, worried about the fate of cell lines, enzymes and reagents used not only for research but also teaching. As soon as possible, Mullin drove all night from Huntsville, Ala., to New Orleans to re-enter the campus. He carried liquid nitrogen in buckets into the darkened buildings to top off storage tanks. Despite his efforts, Yiping Chen, a researcher in the department, lost four years' worth of stem cell lines he was using to study genes involved in tooth initiation and regeneration.<br /> <br /> "We learned that it's important to come back, and you have to come back early to make things happen," Mullin says. "Time is the real issue."</p> <br />
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Tulane in the news

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Tulanian Logo

Doctors Without Quarters

August 28, 2006

Fran Simon
fsimon@tulane.edu
Photography By John Everett

"I used to have a life. Now, I just have a mission."
- Aeon Flux, 2005


tulsum_06_medsch2


At the end of June, Marc Kahn is the last man out of the Houston campus.


That's how pharmacology professor Craig Clarkson ends his e-mails since Hurricane Katrina swiped past New Orleans. Indeed, Clarkson, along with other faculty, administrators and students of the Tulane University School of Medicine, might have felt they were caught in a surreal drama at times during this past academic year.

After the storm, Clarkson drove five days with his cat to his mother's home in Seattle. Then he got a message from the medical school saying, "Come to Houston." So he left the cat and drove four days to join a small group of Tulanians. Their mission: to set up the Tulane School of Medicine in temporary quarters at the Baylor College of Medicine in three weeks, so that Tulane medical education could resume.

The goal: none of the medical students would lose time and the fourth-year students would graduate on schedule. Woven amidst the year's memories is a bewildering panoply of emotions and concerns that are now coming into focus.

"In my 33-year career in medical education, I've been involved in the start-up of three medical schools, and one time we had four years to do it," says Ronald Markert, professor of medicine and director of the Office of Medical Education. "I've never attempted to set up a medical school in three weeks."

The Tulane team received critical life support from four Texas institutions that formed the South Texas Alliance of Academic Health Centers nine days after the storm: Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Shortly after the New Orleans diaspora, Peter Traber, president and chief executive officer of Baylor College of Medicine, invited senior leadership of the Tulane University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center to meet at Baylor with senior officers of the alliance schools.

Even before Katrina struck, Tulane School of Medicine dean Ian Taylor, vice dean Kevin Krane, Marc Kahn, associate dean for admissions and student affairs, and Ron Amadee, associate dean for graduate medical education, had been in serious discussions about contingency plans for the school. The meeting at Baylor helped everything fall into place. Alliance members agreed to provide all necessary resources until the Tulane School of Medicine could return to its home campus in downtown New Orleans.

The consensus was that the displaced students should continue to study with Tulane's own curriculum, taught by Tulane faculty. Further embracing the students, the four institutions agreed to accept them for clinical rotations.

Faced with a self-imposed target date of Sept. 26 to resume classes and training for the 620 Tulane medical students and 580 residents who were scattered to the winds across the United States, the small group of deans, faculty, staff and students who had gathered in Houston worked around the clock to accomplish their mission.

Housed in an office the size of a broom closet, Krane and Kahn started with the basics: locating the students, communicating with them, organizing the curriculum, helping faculty develop the courses, hunting down handouts, finding textbooks, salvaging the students' exams and calculating their scores. Initially, the group sat on the floor of Krane's apartment, using a cardboard box as a table. Soon, Baylor gave them not only space in the building and keys, but also desks, phones, computers, long-distance access codes and whatever nuts and bolts it would take to hold together the medical school in exile.

"I was holding three cell phones and a land line, answering hundreds of e-mails a day with no secretarial support," Krane says. "The esprit de corps was palpable and infectious."

The medical students set up temporary websites with blogs, encouraging each student to sign in and provide contact information. The group organizing the medical school in absentia posted daily updates about the progress to the student body. Under the leadership of then-dean Ian Taylor, the team feverishly worked 12- and 14-hour days to plan the medical school curriculum, with course directors planning in two-week blocks.

At the end of each day, Taylor gathered the organizing group in a "war room" briefing to review what had been accomplished and what still needed to be done. The students who participated say they felt a spirit of democracy and common cause. Regardless of title or rank, all participants had a say in the mission, suggesting courses of action and volunteering for assignments.

Third-year medical student Justin Lafreniere, unofficially dubbed "dean of housing," worked 12 hours a day or more to match each medical student with housing donated or subsidized by people in the Houston medical center community. It was a task that came naturally to Lafreniere, who aspires to become a dean of students for a medical school one day.

"It was a fluid process," Lafreniere says. "Day to day, people called in to offer a couch, bedroom or apartment. I took care of the special circumstances, the students who have spouses and kids. I played matchmaker." Within four days, all medical students had found homes away from home.

tulsum_06_medsch


Recreational space created for them by the Baylor College of Medicine gave Tulane medical students a sense of home in Houston.


The Baylor College of Medicine designated two large rooms for Tulane in the basement and a suite of offices on the first floor, coincidentally in the "T" corridor.
 
Baylor stenciled "Tulane Univeristy School of Medicine" and the Tulane emblem on the glass doors and painted one of the rooms a bright green for a student lounge, which was outfitted with a 42-inch plasma TV, sofas, a pool table and hanging file folders for "mailboxes."

The other large room became the office space for faculty and staff, with a conference table in the center and a white countertop around the periphery lined with laptop and desktop computers.

"Welcome to my office," says educational technologist Tripp Frasch, as he stretches his arms wide across a three-foot space of counter, above which hangs a piece of white paper with his name printed on it. Around the periphery of the room, the names of other faculty and staff members hang above their workstations along the counter.

The Baylor registrar pitched in, working overtime to help get the medical students registered for their courses, and Rondel Frank, who served in the Tulane medicine department before the storm, became the registrar even though he had never done that job before.

Byron Crawford, course director for the mechanisms of disease course, the core of the second year of medical school, had his work cut out for him. Typically, the yearlong course involves about 70 faculty members and residents participating in the teaching. Faculty taught each other's courses and Baylor faculty pinch-hit when Tulane faculty couldn't travel to Baylor. In the end, the experience may strengthen the teaching at the Tulane School of Medicine.

"We realized areas where we might integrate our courses better," Crawford says. "In some cases, we used Baylor case studies, which I'd like to do in the future if they'll give permission."

The Tulane medical school in the outpost was ready to resume classes on the target date. But then Hurricane Rita approached Houston and the students, faculty and staff scattered again. After the threat passed, Tulane medical school finally held orientation at Baylor on Oct. 1. The atmosphere in the room was electric, with Tulane medical alumnus Michael DeBakey (A&S '30, M '32, G '35), the noted Baylor heart surgeon, among those welcoming the students.

"We've worked hard together," says Kahn. "Those of us working here in Houston have really developed a camaraderie that we wouldn't necessarily have developed in New Orleans. We've gone through a lot together and solved big problems together, and so far come out of it intact. Kevin (Krane) and I worked extremely closely together. I saw more of Kevin than I did of my wife."

While Kahn's personal and professional families settled into a routine, with his two children attending Houston schools and the medical students beginning their coursework, Kahn had to scramble to rewrite more than 100 dean's letters for the fourth-year students applying for their residency training upon graduation. With the letters due Nov. 1 and Kahn's office in New Orleans soaked in floodwater for weeks, it was a challenge to get all of the letters submitted on time.

At the same time, it was the beginning of the admission cycle, with all of the files for prospective medical students destroyed. In an innovative and collaborative move, the Tulane and Baylor admission offices worked in tandem to interview candidates who applied to both schools.

"We've all become better, stronger, more capable people," says Markert. "As a life event, we've had the chance to do something very powerful. We'll always remember 2005-06."


LIFE GOES ON

Construction sites with steel girders rising, rather than demolition zones and gutted houses. Pinto beans instead of red beans and rice. The sleek, silver Metro bullet shooting past the medical center in place of the rumbling, stately streetcar on St. Charles Avenue. For the medical students, faculty and staff members relocated from New Orleans to Houston, there were many adjustments to make.

tulsum_06_medsch4


Tripp Frasch and colleagues provided support from temporary headquarters located in the basement of Baylor medical school.


Since October, staff member Tripp Frasch and his wife, Sanela, have lived in a garage apartment donated by a couple of Baylor-affiliated physicians who live in the main house.

They delight in going to Central Market, marveling at the array of fresh produce, fish and meat -- including rattlesnake. They choose a piece of salmon to poach or a steak to saute in the copper pan they brought from their French Quarter apartment, cooking on a two-burner hot plate. On the weekend, they enjoy eating dim sum in Chinatown. Though Houston has been interesting and the Baylor contingent has been more than kind, Frasch is anxious to return to New Orleans, a city that for him is like no other.

"I so wish I were home!" Frasch says. "I'm frustrated because I feel like much has passed me by, and I feel like I've been out of touch. Things that happened over a course of months and normally I would have heard about gradually, I heard all at once. A friend is getting divorced. Another friend has non- Hodgkin's lymphoma."

Palak Turakhia, president of the Medical Student Government, believes it has been particularly hard for fourth-year students who had to continue their clinical rotations while finding time to travel around the country for interviews with medical schools for their residency training.

Turakhia, who interviewed with 14 medical schools including Tulane, will pursue her postgraduate training in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Emory, where her brother is in medical school. Tulane was her second choice.

"I love the city and I would have liked to stay in New Orleans, but it requires more patience staying in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," Turakhia says with a sigh. "This has been difficult on so many levels, but everyone has done amazingly well. We've demonstrated our flexibility and resilience."

Second-year student Philip Dorsey, a native New Orleanian, says he likes to think of this experience as a semester or year abroad.

"We never thought we'd be here, but we are," says Dorsey, whose entire extended family resides in the New Orleans area. Following the storm, 28 members of his family lived in his cousin's apartment for three weeks. Initially, he felt guilty about being away from the Crescent City, but he believes the time he has spent in medical school in Houston will enable him to come back to New Orleans better prepared to help out.

"We've had to work doubly hard to continue medical school. It's tested all of us and our commitment," says Dorsey, who may pursue an MD/MBA degree and set his career path on cardiology. "Being shaken up and put in an alien environment challenges me and encourages me to work harder. This has been like the ultimate test and I work best under pressure. The hurricane drama hasn't held me back or hurt my education. If anything, I'll be a better physician."

The second year of medical school is notoriously difficult, with students taking courses in mechanisms of disease, medical pharmacology, clinical diagnosis, pathology, microbiology and foundations in medicine in preparation for the first of their board examinations and the clinical rotations in their third and fourth years. Britt Themann found Katrina added an extra measure of difficulty to her second-year experience: stress caused heart palpitations and other physical symptoms that, while ultimately not serious, caused anxiety for this young woman who had open-heart surgery as a teen.

"This year would have been life-changing, even without the hurricane," Themann says. Moving to Houston was a shock for this small-town kid from Washington who was a Green Wave basketball player as an undergraduate. "I've been looking at what it means to be alive, what it means to have illness. My whole life changed in 48 hours. This year I've been seeing things from the perspective of a patient, a doctor, a student and a public health professional. Not a day goes by that I don't consider: What is the big picture? Why am I in medicine? It's been grounding in a not-grounded way."

Themann, along with 181 other medical students, is pursuing both a medical degree and a master of public health degree concurrently in Tulane's combined program. After the storm, only a handful of students have decided not to pursue the combined MD/MPH degree. Themann and her boyfriend, second-year MD/MPH student John Gonsoulin, joined a group of medical volunteers at the Lafayette Cajundome for two weeks to help coordinate relief efforts at a Red Cross shelter and clinic.

Once they settled in Houston, Themann and Gonsoulin began a practice of mindful meditation that they found helpful in dealing with the stress. Now, they are teaching a meditation class for about 10 of their fellow med students.

Second-year students Scott Simpson and Jeff DellaVolpe still sport their "hurricane hair-dos" -- buzz cuts they adopted in the hot days after the storm when they worked as medical volunteers at the Pete Maravich Center in Baton Rouge.

"The greatest experience we wish we had never had," says Simpson, who is the second-year class president. "It reconfirmed for me the power of a caring physician to effect positive change."

Once they arrived in Houston, Simpson led a textbook drive that netted more than a thousand textbooks donated by about 15 medical schools and healthcare organizations. Many of the medical students felt a strong pull to return to Louisiana to help with relief efforts, but only a handful decided to transfer.

"When you look at it, we could have floundered or floated," DellaVolpe says. "We could have used this as an excuse." Instead, DellaVolpe says he and most of his classmates have embraced the experience, going to the rodeo, listening to music in Austin, and participating in the Baylor annual talent show.

As the second-year students look toward resuming their studies in New Orleans, some are concerned about the future of Charity Hospital (the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans), closed since floodwaters devastated the old behemoth on Tulane Avenue. Tulane has a longstanding reputation of providing medical students with a diversity of patients and diseases for their training, but the shifting demographics of the population raise questions about the richness of their clinical experience in the coming year.

Perhaps the first-year students had the toughest time acclimating to life in Houston. They had only attended medical school for two weeks in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck.

Edward Pankey, a 31-year-old former actor and first-year medical student whose father is noted infectious disease physician George Pankey (A & S '54, M '57), says the bizarre year has confirmed his desire to become a doctor who will be an advocate for his patients -- putting the patient first, above all.

"It is difficult to say how our experiences of the first year are different from the first years of other classes as we do not have a previous year to compare it to," he says. "This is our medical school experience, and I am certainly proud of it."

More than the hard work, perseverance and commitment to Tulane shown by the classmates and faculty, Pankey points to the genuine care and support seen between faculty, staff and students as the thing that has most affected him.

"We now know, unequivocally, the vulnerability that comes after being stripped of all things familiar," he says. "We have lost our homes, possessions and, in many cases, the very lives of our loved ones. It is this same vulnerability that many patients carry with them every time they walk into an examination room, and it is our charge to protect it."

Clarkson, the pharmacology professor, says December was the hardest period of time for him. On Dec. 8, the university's Renewal Plan was announced and more than 100 medical school faculty members were separated from the university.

"The psychological impact was heartbreaking, with the loss of colleagues I had worked with for 20 years gone in the blink of an eye and their lives changed," Clarkson says. "I actually felt like I was going to have a heart attack."

Cassie Cusick, who coordinates the neuroscience course and teaches head and neck anatomy, finds it difficult to be living the academic year away from her husband and daughter, Maggie, who is a senior in high school and will attend Tulane next fall. She stays active in her daughter's life by chatting over the phone.

"Yes, I have too many roles," says Cusick, whose husband is working to repair their Mid-City home in New Orleans that suffered damage from two feet of floodwater. "But this role is essential. We've done something here that's amazing and important -- continuing medical school in a way that's true to the Tulane spirit, with its authentic curriculum."



BACK IN THE NOT-SO-BIG EASY

In July, Tulane welcomes a full medical school back to its downtown New Orleans facilities. The incoming first-year class of 150 to 160 students was selected from about 7,000 applicants, with the same high standards as previous years. Third- and fourth-year students resume their studies in July, and first- and second-year classes will resume in August.

To assure adequate clinical opportunities, the medical school has developed a stronger relationship with Ochsner Foundation Hospital for required clinical training. Students also have begun training at Tulane-Lakeside Hospital in Metairie and Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, and other opportunities are possible. 

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The sleek, silver Metro bullet shooting past the medical center contrasts with the rumbling, stately streetcar of St. Charles Avenue.


Tulane medical students scored above the national average in this year's Step 1 examination, with a pass rate that was the best ever in the history of the school, says Paul K. Whelton, dean of the medical school and senior vice president for health sciences.

"Our students have received many awards and recognition," Whelton says. "Their list of accomplishments is too extensive to detail, but a good example is the award of a very competitive Doris Duke Fellowship in Geriatrics. The accomplishments of our student body have always been impressive but are even more remarkable in a year when we have had to contend with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."

As Lafreniere, the ad hoc "dean of housing," enters his final year of medical school, he and his fiance, Amy Vinturella, a faculty member in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, plan a big wedding in the Audubon Zoo's Tea Room. The only glitch has been the loss of the bakery that was to deliver the cake, whose roof blew off thanks to Hurricane Katrina.

Fourth-year student Chris Hasney, a New Orleans area native, got just what he wanted on his birthday, March 16, which occurred on Match Day, when graduating medical students found out where they will continue their medical training over the next three to seven years. Hasney will enter ear, nose and throat training at Tulane -- his first choice.

"I could have gone elsewhere with guarantees of a stable situation," Hasney says. "I feel personally obligated to contribute to rebuilding the Charity system here in New Orleans. Lots of people in this city can't afford medical care so they come to the academic health centers. That's where I come in -- I can get my education and at the same time contribute to rebuilding New Orleans. I've got faith in the people who've stuck around to put it back together."

Faith -- what you believe in, what you are committed to, what you need when there's little else. Without it, the unlikely becomes the impossible.

Who knows what Kahn, the associate dean assigned to be the last person out of the Tulane encampment, ponders as he turns off the lights along the "T" corridor at Baylor. Faith, fate, the possible and impossible? The statistical chance of another storm? What if one again targets New Orleans? What if one targets Houston? If one targets Baylor? Will such a catastrophic event ever again befall an American city, an American medical school?

Sometimes you just have to shrug it off. Turn off the lights. Hand over the keys. Take the long ride back home.



 

Tulanian

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu