June 25, 2009
Dear Tulane Alumni and Friends,
I appreciate your interest and effort as we continue to expand and improve health care and medical education in New Orleans. Here is an update on this effort.
On June 19, the Board of Tulane unanimously accepted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed by officials from LSU, Tulane and the Department of Health and Hospitals for the proposed new academic medical center.
On June 22, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved an amended Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) differing in key points from the one agreed upon in our negotiations with LSU officials and Secretary of Health and Hospitals Alan Levine.
Specifically, the modified MOU adopted by LSU calls for a change in the board composition from a 12-person board to an 11-person board on which LSU holds five seats (the MOU we approved had four), the community has only three independent trustees (instead of five in the original MOU), and the other universities have three seats. Tulane and Xavier will have permanent seats and Delgado, Dillard and Southern will rotate one seat.
Such a distribution of board members is unacceptable to Tulane since this clearly will not represent the community’s best interest. LSU would have control of a board that for all practical purposes would not have ample independent oversight or appropriate safeguards to protect the public interest.
The decision by the LSU Board of Supervisors to approve this amended MOU indicates that Tulane and LSU have fundamental and philosophical differences with respect to the board composition and the appropriate safeguards and independent oversight of the proposed academic medical center.
Given the importance of the unresolved issues to the community and to the state, Tulane believes the matter should now return to the Legislature and the administration for further action. We look forward to working with both of these entities to bring this issue to a successful close for the good of the community’s health care and the future of medical education in Louisiana.
Scott S. Cowen