Dear Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Friends:
Early spring is always an exciting time at the university as the campus begins coming to life after the winter break. Students are fully immersed in their spring semester coursework, the calendar of lectures, concerts and performances is in full swing, and the grounds are awakening into their springtime riots of green.
This spring is particularly exciting, however, because of the additional sounds that can be heard around campus: sounds of hammers, drills, saws--I like to think of them as sounds of progress.
From Freret Street down McAlister Drive and clear down Broadway, downtown to Canal Street and Tulane Avenue, and all the way up to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Tulane University is engaged in building projects that are "Works in Progress." These projects result from the impressive growth and development we have witnessed in our academic and research programs in the last six years. There is no doubt, the university is working on all cylinders--academically, financially and physically--to further strengthen our already outstanding international research university.
Following are some of the most exciting projects that are currently under way. I hope you'll also take the time to check out the 2003 Report of the President to see more photos and visual renderings of these projects, as well as check out the university's annual financial and operations update.
The Tulane National Primate Research Center has become recognized worldwide as an important center for studying a variety of public health concerns, from AIDS to malaria, tuberculosis to Lyme Disease.
So it was a natural fit for the National Institutes of Health to look to Tulane when it began the process of establishing a network of eight Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. The Tulane center recently received a $13.6 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to build a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at the primate center's 50-acre campus on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Covington, La.
Since the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and the escalating threat of bioterrorism facing our nation, the need for research into ways to combat and respond to biological threats has escalated as well. At the new Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, Tulane scientists will work with NIAID to develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostic methods for such diseases as SARS, botulism, plague, smallpox, anthrax and tularemia.
The Tulane National Primate Research Center was established in 1964; it is marking its 40th birthday this year.
Since the original Goldring/Woldenberg Hall was built for the A. B. Freeman School of Business in 1985, the school has grown dramatically. In the last six years, 57 percent more students have become engaged in the school's expanding programs in areas such as international business and executive education. Because of this growth, the school was stretched beyond capacity in its current space.
On Nov. 21, 2003, the university formally dedicated a second building, Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II, that is a beautiful addition to the campus and a vital addition to the Freeman School. With more than 60,000 square feet of classroom and lab space, the building offers a number of special features that will greatly enhance the educational and research programs of the school. A 130-seat lecture theater will accommodate special programs, for example, while four 65-seat special MBA classrooms are configured for case-method-style study. Perhaps the piece de resistance is the Trading Center, a $1.5 million electronic nerve center with sophisticated simulation trading and financial software.
Founded in 1914, the A. B. Freeman School of business currently has 1,309 students. The new Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II accommodates the school's growth in 60,000 square feet of space.
As federal research dollars get stretched tighter, competition for funding grows fiercer, so the smart approach when it comes to attracting research dollars is to collaborate rather than compete. The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium is a case in point. Rather than continuing to compete with each other for limited funding, the Tulane Cancer Center and the cancer center at Louisiana State University are working together to collaborate on research into the cause and treatment of the cancers that offer the greatest health challenge to our citizens and our healthcare system.
By conducting collaborative research in addition to their individual ongoing research programs, the Tulane and LSU cancer centers hope to achieve recognition as a Designated Cancer Center of Excellence by the National Cancer Institute, helping to bring greater funding to local research efforts and establish New Orleans as a primary location for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers.
Toward that end, on Dec. 4, 2003, Tulane and LSU formally announced a planned 150,000-square-foot, $40 million research facility in downtown New Orleans, with a projected construction date of 2007. The building, which will house the collaborative efforts of Tulane and LSU cancer researchers--and possibly those of other academic institutions--will help them find solutions for one of the greatest health challenges facing modern society.
Cancer research is not the only work going on at the Tulane University Health Sciences Center. The School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine continue to grow in scope and function, with important emerging programs in gene therapy, infectious diseases, hypertension and bioenvironmental research, among others. And, of course, continuing to provide the best medical education possible for new generations of health professionals remains at the heart of all we do.
As is true of other areas of the university, however, this growth does not come without placing considerable strain on existing facilities, and both administrative, research and teaching space for the health sciences center has become tight as we have continued to make dramatic strides in our research and teaching programs.
So it is with great interest that Tulane University is looking at the historic old Krauss Department Store building on Canal Street, which is currently for sale. The university is in the "due diligence" phase, examining the 350,000-square-foot building, within a block or two of most of the health sciences center facilities, to see whether it could provide the space we need. So far, the process looks promising, and we should know by later this spring whether the building will, indeed, fit our needs. If so, the purchase will proceed and we will begin working to design the most effective space possible for our faculty, staff and students in the health sciences.
Whatever your take on Tulane athletics in general, you must admit that watching the Tulane Green Wave baseball team advance to the College World Series in 2001 was exciting. With its rising prominence in NCAA Division I-A baseball, the Wave needs an updated facility to meet the growing demand for tickets as well as better playing and training areas for our student-athletes.
Turchin Stadium will undergo its first major renovation since its construction in 1990, bringing increased seating capacity and many amenities including a gathering "courtyard" area outside the main entrance. Other areas of the facility will be usable throughout the year for multiple purposes, including meeting and office space.
An addition to the Goldring Tennis Complex also is expected to benefit many areas of the athletics department year-round, with initial plans including stands, locker rooms and a large meeting and viewing space between the tennis complex and the Westfeldt Facility.
In 2001, the old Uptown Square Shopping Center at the foot of Broadway at the River, near the Tulane campus, was falling into disrepair. Most of the businesses had closed or were near closure. This site was threatening to become an eyesore in an area that had once been vital and alive, save only for the highrise housing facility for senior adults on a portion of the property.
Tulane purchased six acres of the site--approximately half of the total area--and began initial renovations to house some administrative functions and ease overcrowding on the uptown campus. Currently, some 200 Tulane employees work at the site, which has been renamed Tulane University Square.
We have exciting new plans for University Square--a $150 million, multi-year construction project. Plans include developing 520,000 square feet of occupied space and 360,000 square feet of parking space that will address critical needs for the university as well as help to revitalize this New Orleans neighborhood without imposing undue traffic or congestion into the primarily residential area. Plans include: a 120,000-square-foot, four-story building for administrative offices; a 15,000-square-foot, two-story facility for the Newcomb Nursery & Child Care Center; a structure to house the university's uptown medical clinic and a conference center with meeting rooms, guest suites and parking; and a 13-story, 222-unit apartment building for married and graduate students to replace Rosen House.
Careful usage studies have been done, and the space has been configured to take into account the needs of the nearby residential community. We recognize that being a good neighbor is an important part of our role as New Orleans' largest employer. The plans promise to offer maximum positive impact for both the neighborhood and the university.
Approximately 200 university employees are currently working in converted space in the former Uptown Square Shopping Center.
If you had to take the pulse of Tulane University, where would you find it? Chances are, you'd say at the University Center, which since 1959 has served as the "living room" of the uptown campus and the heart of its student life.
However, with dozens of student organizations, a growth in retail and dining functions, student-related administrative offices and more than 6,000 annual meetings, the current building was no longer able to meet the demands of a vital and growing campus. In December, the UC closed its doors, with dozens of offices and organizations--not to mention the massive bookstore and food court--relocating to other parts of campus for two years. When the UC reopens in January 2006, a $37 million expansion and renovation will greet the community with round-the-clock spaces to meet, eat, study, shop, soak up the sunshine or get a haircut. In other words, it will again be the UC--only bigger and better.
The closure of the UC for renovation temporarily displaced dozens of offices to other areas, including a 19,000-square-foot domed structure on Bruff Quad.
Last year, we said goodbye to Zemurray Hall as the old residence came down to make way for a new housing structure for campus. The new residence hall, which has yet to be named, will feature 267 beds in 80,500 square feet of space at a cost of approximately $11.9 million. With 55 single rooms and 106 doubles, the new space will offer our students a modern residential community with the convenience of campus living. It is scheduled for completion in April 2005.
A second, 270-bed residence hall is in the schematic design stages, and will involve the demolition of both Old Doris and New Doris halls. As most of you know, Tulane has been in the process of upgrading and re-energizing its residence halls for the past five years. The new residence halls will go a long way toward meeting the growing desire of students to enjoy the convenience and cameraderie of living in the campus environment.
There are other projects that could be included here--from a complete re-outfitting of our acclaimed Latin American Studies Library to the establishment of electronic classrooms, but the projects outlined here provide an overview of some of our major plans.
Enjoy your spring, and think of us here, listening to the sounds of works in progress.
Scott S. Cowen
Office of the President
6823 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70118-5698
Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638 firstname.lastname@example.org