Messages from the President – September 2005

September 28, 2005, 6 a.m.

Dear Tulanians and Friends,

Tulane University plans to start the spring semester as originally scheduled on January 17, 2006 – a date that marks not only the start of classes but a renaissance for the Tulane University academic community. Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2006.

The storm denied us the opportunity to reunite in August and time to acclimate to a new academic year in New Orleans. One of our priorities is to make sure that students, faculty and staff are given the opportunity to make this transition at a reasonable pace with as much advance information as possible. In order to accomplish this, we have developed an approach to the spring term that we believe is responsive to the issues and needs articulated by our community.

Please read the documents on this website for details about the spring term. Also please note again the extension of the withdrawal date to November 1, 2005 and the extension of the deadline for fall tuition payment to May 1, 2006. These announcements, taken together, should provide you with a roadmap for your future planning.

The following is a brief summary of our spring plan.

Our spring semester will begin on January 17 and will last the normal 15
weeks from January through early May. After a short break, it will be followed
by a 7-week Lagniappe semester from May 15 through June. Students can
register for up to three additional courses during the Lagniappe semester.

Both the spring and Lagniappe semesters will offer a complete array of courses as well as a full complement of social and cultural activities. Tuition and fees for the spring semester have not changed. The Lagniappe semester is based on a discounted tuition basis for undergraduate students as described in the complete plan. However, for those students who have paid
full-time fall and spring tuition to Tulane, tuition for the Lagniappe term will
be waived.

In addition, seniors who cannot take advantage of the Lagniappe semester
because of the date of their graduation and who have paid their applicable fall
and spring tuition charges will be offered a $5,000 credit towards tuition for an advanced degree at any Tulane University graduate or professional school.
Graduating seniors must, however, apply and be accepted and enrolled in these graduate programs within a three-year time frame.

Graduate and Professional Schools:
The Graduate School and professional schools – Business, Law, Medicine,
Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Social Work – may follow a different schedule. Students should refer to the appropriate web links at the end of the
Spring ’06 semester plan.

As part of our spring planning, we are also working on finding temporary accommodations for those students whose off-campus housing may not be available in January. Our crews continue to make progress restoring our campuses. However, for reasons previously cited in FAQs and other announcements, the campus remains closed until further notice.

There are many, many complex logistical aspects to the recovery and reopening of the university. We are working on these issues simultaneously.

We will provide further details as soon as possible. In the meantime, please read the plan documents carefully and refer to the website for updates.

Scott S. Cowen

September 27, 2005, 3:30 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and Friends,

Tomorrow morning we will announce our plans for the spring semester, including additional FAQs covering a range of topics. I encourage you to read all of the statements posted in their entirety. Our call center will reopen at 10 a.m. central time to respond to your questions.

I am returning to New Orleans on Thursday and Friday to visit our campuses and review, first hand, the restoration work underway. Several hundred of our workers who evacuated as a result of Hurricane Rita are now returning to campus to resume the recovery process. I expect our campuses will be a beehive of activity beginning tomorrow.

I will also visit with state and local officials to discuss conditions in the city and state so that we have a feel for the status of recovery efforts. I will give you a personal view of how things are progressing in the city and on our campuses next Sunday or Monday. In the meantime, you should continue to monitor this website for information.

Finally, as a result of my travel schedule, this week’s live chat, scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. central time, will be hosted by Provost Lester Lefton, with input from Vice President of Student Affairs Cynthia Cherrey and Vice President of Enrollment Management Richard Whiteside.

Scott S. Cowen

September 24, 2005, 6:30 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,

The past two days have been the most enjoyable ones for me since Hurricane Katrina. Let me tell you why.

I received reports today that indicate that Hurricane Rita had no adverse impact on any of our campuses – uptown, downtown, Northshore, Elmwood or Biloxi . The levee failures reported on national television caused water to build up again in the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish but both are far from our campuses. We have personnel monitoring the situation on all campuses and we intend to continue our remediation efforts early next week. I plan to be in New Orleans on Thursday and Friday. Our Houston facilities were not damaged by Hurricane Rita.

Yesterday I held a Town Hall meeting in Dallas with over 100 Tulane students and parents who are in the area. I was impressed and gratified by their loyalty and commitment to Tulane and everyone’s desire to return to campus in the spring. Questions covered a myriad of topics from tuition to environmental health issues to expected living conditions in New Orleans in January. I sincerely believe everyone felt the session was informative and productive.

The Town Hall meeting was followed by an online chat where we covered many of the topics addressed in the Town Hall meeting. A transcript of the chat will be posted on the web early next week.

Today I attended the SMU-Tulane football game, which we won 31-10. We had a very large Tulane student contingent at the game and it was great to spend time with them in the stands. Their loyalty, love and enthusiasm for Tulane is inspiring and is living proof of the importance of our work to rebuild the university. I am incredibly proud of all of our students who are representing us so well during this difficult period. Attached are some photos that I think you’ll find uplifting.

I plan to return to Houston tomorrow night and we should be fully operational no later than Wednesday. I anticipate posting my next message on Tuesday evening. In the meantime, please continue to monitor this website for updates.

Scott S. Cowen

September 21, 2005, 1 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,

Mother Nature strikes again. This time, Texas is targeted for a major storm and a voluntary evacuation has been called for the city. Our temporary Houston office, including the call center, will close at the end of today and we will relocate to Dallas until the threat has passed. Fortunately, based on information provided to us, our campuses in New Orleans should not be affected by Hurricane Rita and our work to rebuild the university will continue.

A trip to Dallas was always in my future. Our football team matches up against Southern Methodist University on Saturday and I will hold a town hall meeting in Dallas the day before. If you are in the area, I hope you will attend both. The town hall meeting will be held at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center in the theater at 3 p.m. The football game will be held at Ford stadium on the SMU campus and is being hailed as a “Mustang Mardi Gras.”

No matter where one lives, harsh weather — whether it’s hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, fires, tornados, droughts or floods — is a possibility. The key is to be prepared, follow the instructions of local officials, and remain calm and focused. Despite the hardships we have already suffered, Hurricane Rita will not dampen our determination.

I plan on holding my regular live chat this Friday at 5 p.m. central at which time I can provide further updates. Our thoughts are with our friends here in south Texas.

Scott S. Cowen

September 19, 2005, 3 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,

I traveled to Shreveport on Saturday to watch the Green Wave play its first football game of the season, two weeks behind schedule. What a display of fortitude by our student athletes who have dealt with personal loss, the pressures of a new academic environment and the demands of a rigorous practice schedule. All of us at the Independence Bowl couldn’t have been prouder. And it felt great to reunite and talk with fellow Tulanians, students,
faculty, staff and alumni – at the game, all of whom are longing for home.
Not a single day goes by when I don’t think about our campuses and the ambience of New Orleans – walking among the oak trees uptown and listening to the rattle of streetcars on St. Charles Avenue. I miss being able to walk to P.J.’s on Freret to get an iced mocha and walk my dog in Audubon Park. These routines provided the comforts of home and can’t be replicated anywhere else.

Downtown and on the north shore, our Health Sciences Center (HSC) and National Primate Research Center are towers of strength and a constant reminder of the contributions our doctors and researchers make every day to the well-being of people around the world. The Primate Center never closed during this tragedy and their work continues uninterrupted. Each day that circumstances prevent the Health Sciences Center from fully opening in New Orleans is one less day these dedicated professionals are serving our community and humanity.

I have repeated on several occasions that our campuses fared well, comparatively speaking, during the hurricane. Linked to this message are some photographs of our uptown campus taken on Thursday, September 15. I hope you will agree that despite the damage the campus retains its beauty and charm. Later in the week we will include pictures of the HSC and other campuses so you can get further reassurance of their physical condition.

I do want to discourage you from visiting our campuses while they remain closed. Our crews are making great progress in repairing facilities and there is heavy equipment throughout campus. The fewer interruptions to their work, the faster they can finish. As soon as we can re-open our campuses, we will notify you.

I ask for your continued patience. We all want to go home and we will, soon.

Scott S. Cowen

September 14, 2005, 5:30 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and Friends,

Based on everything I know today, Tulane University will be open this spring for our faculty, staff and students.

Let me assure you that my optimism is based on facts, not wishful thinking.

Every day our team reports improvements in all areas critical to our recovery.

Basic services in the City of New Orleans are coming on line much faster than we anticipated. According to the Entergy website, power has been restored to more than 834,000 of the 1.1 million customers affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Water levels have receded substantially throughout the city. Eighty percent of our uptown campus is already dry and we anticipate all Tulane University campuses will be dry in two weeks. These accomplishments are especially important because then we can finally begin the nuts and bolts tasks of restoring our campus facilities.

The university has hired a professional firm that specializes in the restoration and rehabilitation of facilities, including our collections and archives. The firm already has provided more than 400 people to work on our campuses, and their reports are especially encouraging. They report damage that is less than initially anticipated. They have assessed the damage to our buildings, have begun to repair windows, clear away downed foliage and place tarpaulins over any missing roofing tiles.

With things progressing so quickly, starting classes in January is realistic.

Many of you have conveyed concern about whether the rest of the city could support the Tulane community when our spring semester begins. We have formed a new task force to make sure there are ample amenities for us when we return to school, including on and off campus student housing, restaurants, stores, groceries, medical services and more, including schools for the family members of our community.

Having detailed our progress, I do want to reiterate that no matter the progress we are making to restore the university’s facilities, we will not start classes until it is absolutely safe to do so. We are taking a hard look at the environmental issues caused by Hurricane Katrina. We are fortunate to have several of the world’s foremost authorities on public health, medicine and environmental toxins on our faculty to examine environmental issues on campus and in the surrounding areas. These experts have assured us that any
environmental health issues that might exist will be remediated well in advance of our opening. If this assessment changes, we will let you know.

It is too early to give you the specific opening dates for our return to campus and the start of the spring semester, however, the progress our team members have made so far is impressive and a source of encouragement for all of us.

I will have another Live Chat through this website at 5 p.m. central time on Friday to answer questions you may have about any Tulane University issue.

Scott S. Cowen

September 9, 2005 – 11 a.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,

As promised, we are introducing our first interactive communications opportunity this afternoon from 5 to 6 p.m. central. I will be answering questions in a live interactive chat room format. This technology has been generously donated to Tulane University by LiveWorld and we intend to make it a weekly event every Friday at 5 p.m. You may log in to the chat via the website. In fact, you may begin submitting questions prior to the forum. A written transcript of the chat will be posted to on

If the response to this interactive chat event is anything like your response to our email address, we will only able to answer a small number of your questions. Therefore, we will focus on answering the most general questions with wide applicability to the most people.

My next message will be posted on Monday evening unless circumstances warrant a communication before then. You should continue to monitor this website in the interim.

Scott S. Cowen

September 8, 12:30 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and Friends,

As we near the end of the second week since the Tulane community suffered the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, I am even more positive that we will be able to reopen this spring semester. The basis for my optimism remains the tireless, nearly 24/7 work of our faculty and staff to see that even the most basic campus systems are restored to working order. Each new act of generosity on the part of students, donors, alumni and friends only helps renew our determination to restore Tulane to its greatness. In addition, I am convinced the federal government is now committed to rebuilding New Orleans as soon as possible and is prepared to allocate the resources necessary to achieve this goal.

I am particularly grateful for the outpouring of support that the Tulane community has received from my colleague presidents at colleges and universities throughout the country.

For example, not only have institutions cared for and housed Tulane students impacted by the hurricane, many have agreed to enroll them on a provisional basis this semester which will allow them to return to Tulane in the spring and continue their studies without disruption.

Enrolling our students as visitors at no additional cost to the student beyond his or her original Tulane tuition is an incredible act of philanthropy on the part of my colleague presidents, because despite our many financial resources tuition remains a key source of revenue for the long-term financial health of Tulane. Without fall ’05 tuition revenue, we would find it difficult, if not impossible, to reopen Tulane on schedule –retaining our key faculty and staff.

To that end, I found it incredibly helpful that my colleagues in our national associations urged colleges and universities around the country to be sensitive to needs of Gulf Coast colleges and universities when it comes to tuition revenue [Read the statement].

However, I understand that financial circumstances and state law vary for institutions around the country, and that some colleges and universities – who in a few cases are enrolling hundreds of displaced students from the Gulf Coast region – may have charged tuition for various reasons.

It has recently come to my attention that some of our students have been asked to pay tuition at their host institution. Let me be clear: No Tulane student will ultimately have to pay more than they would have if they were at Tulane for the fall semester.

Therefore I have instructed university financial staff to make sure this issue is resolved in a fair and equitable manner as soon as possible once we have access to our student billing records and the manpower to review and resolve each situation. Just be patient because it will take several weeks before we are able to address these issues. In the meantime, any student who had to pay two tuition bills should contact immediately and identify yourself as an affected student, giving us as much information as you can about your circumstances.

The needs of Tulane students remain a central priority as we work through these difficult days. Our students represent our greatest asset. I hope this matter has not caused additional worry or inconvenience in this already difficult time.

Scott S. Cowen

September 7, 6 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,

This message addresses two topics that have been raised in the last few days: how to donate funds to Tulane University and questions regarding the Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Tropical Medicine, respectively.

Donations for Hurricane Relief: I took a few minutes to visit a Hurricane Katrina fundraising event here in Houston that was organized by our Houston alumni chapter. It gave me a chance to visit with Tulane grads in the area and it was heartwarming to talk with them about their love for the university and their commitment to help us rebuild.

Several people at the event as well as others around the country have asked me how they can donate funds to help rebuild the University. As a result, we created the Tulane University Hurricane Rebuilding Fund. Money donated to this fund will be used to support all activities required to rebuild the university. These funds are absolutely necessary if the university is to rebound from this tragedy healthier and stronger than ever. Two websites are accepting donations on our behalf: and .

You can also mail donations directly to the university at 1700 West Loop South, Suite 600, Houston, Texas 77027.

We already know that insurance will cover some, but not all, of our losses.

Therefore, additional funds will be needed for the university to fully recover from this tragedy. Health Sciences Center (HSC): The Hurricane posed some particularly unique challenges for our School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, including the entire research mission of the HSC. Because of accreditation issues as well as the nature and scope of the HSC research enterprise, we had to find a unique solution to the challenges facing the Health Science units. The entire university administrative group, spearheaded by the HSC senior leadership team, has worked very hard to craft a strategy to address the HSC’s unique issues. I am pleased to report that we have made substantial progress in addressing these issues. The message below describes our progress to date.

I will post another message tomorrow no later than 6 p.m. central.

Scott S. Cowen

September 7, 1 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,

This message will provide information for employees, students and friends of the university. First, let me begin with two topics of utmost importance for Tulane University employees – health insurance and payroll.

Health Insurance for Employees – United Healthcare has extended its contract with Tulane University until June 30, 2006 at the current rates for all three plans. United will cover out-of-network claims at the in-network benefit level for those insured under Tulane plans. Additionally, the company has adjusted its requirements for pharmacy refills to allow our members to obtain refills more easily.

If you need to add or drop a dependent from your coverage, please notify us by emailing:

United Healthcare has established a 24-hour toll-free crisis hotline at 1-866-615-8700, which is available to anyone in the Gulf Coast region affected by the storm, regardless of their health insurance provider. This telephone service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. Individuals can call with questions about health, emotional, financial and legal concerns.

Payroll deductions – In an effort to maximize take home pay during this crisis, we have suspended payroll deductions for parking permits, Reilly Center fees, tuition waiver tax, accounts receivable, United Way, Community Shares, childcare and all deductions for athletics tickets. Credit Union deductions will also be suspended because we have no way to transfer these funds to the Credit Union. To the extent that the Credit Union has been making payments to creditors on your behalf, you will need to make those payments directly to them.

Interactive chat forum – On Friday, September 9 at 5 p.m. central, you will be able to submit your questions to me in a live chat forum. Simply click on the link on the website and you can enter the chat room. This technology was generously donated to us as a means of increasing interactive communications. We plan on doing a live chat forum every Friday at 5 p.m. central.

FAQ – A few days ago we posted a FAQ for students and then subsequently removed it so we could develop a more comprehensive statement. As soon as we complete this activity we will repost it. I anticipate we will do so in about a week.

Recruiting the entering class of 2006 – In the midst of everything we are doing to reestablish our campuses in New Orleans, we are also actively recruiting around the country the class that will enter in 2006. Previously scheduled recruitment and information sessions around the country will continue as planned. In fact, we had a very successful undergraduate recruitment event in Houston last night with over 200 students and their parents in attendance. Please let others know that student recruitment for all our schools and colleges for next fall will continue. I will communicate again today at 6 p.m. central.

September 6, 4: 30 p.m.

Dear Tulanians and friends,Now that is available for questions, we have been inundated with inquiries. We are in the process of reviewing all of your questions and grouping them by topic. Because of our limited staff here in Houston, we have categorized the majority of questions so that we can respond to them globally.The topics we have developed so far

  • Academic Issues
  • Personal Property issues
  • Donations to Tulane
  • Looking for lost friends and family
  • Registration process
  • Tuition and transfer credit issues
  • Offers of Assistance
  • Other

Each day I will try to address one or more topics. If you submit a question, please be specific about the topic in the subject line to aid our sorting process.

Security of personal property and campus: When we left our campuses, most, if not all, of our buildings were secured and we have no reason to believe that this security has been compromised. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to comment on any off campus facilities or property. For the foreseeable future you cannot return to New Orleans to retrieve your personal effects. The logistics of re-entry, combined with the physical conditions in the city, make it unwise to return at this time. When conditions change, we will let you know.

Donations and volunteering: We have been deeply touched by the offerings of assistance for Tulane and victims of the Hurricane. For those interested in making donations to Tulane, please visit the following websites for information: and or mail donations to 1700 West Loop S., Ste. 600, Houston TX 77027 c/o Luann Dozier, Tulane University Development, or call 713-586-6400.

Thus far, it has been impossible for us to organize the hundreds of offers we have had to volunteer time to rebuild Tulane and New Orleans. These offers are so appreciated but do require a level of manpower that we do not have at this time. We encourage you, however, to pursue these activities through nonprofit agencies in your community. We will, of course, let you know once the University is in a better position to mobilize and make use of these generous offers.

I will communicate again tomorrow at 1 p.m. central.

Scott S. Cowen

September 6, 11:30 a.m.

Dear Tulane Community:

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and beginning the recovery process following Hurricane Katrina. The administration has assembled in Houston until we can return to campus and our homes. The best way we can assist you and New Orleans is for Tulane University, the largest private employer in Orleans Parish, to become operational in New Orleans as soon as possible. We are totally committed to this task with the least amount of disruption to you.

As promised on Sunday, we have finalized the key issues related to the September payroll payments. We thought long and hard about these policies because of their impact on our university. We are sensitive to this and have done our best to minimize impacts as much as possible on you and your families. Please review these guidelines and if you have any questions please e-mail them to We will update these guidelines as circumstances warrant. We will address your issues and questions as soon as
possible. In the meantime, we need your patience, trust and goodwill.

For 171 years the Tulane community has been a leader in New Orleans and the region. We are now being called upon to play this role again in a way unforeseen by anyone one week ago. Despite the circumstances, we will prevail for all of you and the wider community.

I will provide a general update today at 6 p.m. central.

Scott S. Cowen

September 5, noon

Dear Tulanians and Friends,

Today I want to address a few key issues that seem to be on your minds based on my reading of the blogs.

Restoration of our campuses: This process begins today as we clear away the debris and assess, secure and remediate damage to our buildings and grounds. Fortunately, the physical damage to our campuses was not nearly as extensive as it was to the rest of the city. I am happy to report that our National Primate Center in Covington, La. is already functioning under near normal conditions. Several of our University College satellite campuses should also be functional in a matter of weeks. We expect that the Elmwood and Biloxi, Mississippi campuses could be among the first to open.

Spring semester: Based on what we know today, we will be open for classes for the spring 2006 semester. I know that a number of students elected not to enroll in other colleges/universities this fall and want to return to the campus and city as soon as possible. We will try to facilitate this possibility.

Interacting with us: You will be able to interact with us through the use of call centers, the internet and phone either later this week or early next week. These capabilities require effective communications and staffing, neither of which we have had since the storm. However, as we gather in Houston and organize all those who have offered to volunteer time, we will be able to increase our outreach capabilities.

Tuition and transfer credit related issues: As I mentioned in Saturday’s audio message, we know you have many questions and we are in the process of establishing the communication mechanisms (see above) needed for you to contact us. However, I can assure you we will resolve these issues in a fair and equitable manner, and know you will extend that same courtesy to us. This is a time for patience, trust and goodwill.

In the meantime, please email your questions to: We will do our best to answer them. I will provide another update at noon CST tomorrow.

Scott S. Cowen

September 4, 12:30 p.m.

Dear Tulane colleagues,

Our team is continuing to work on the payroll issues I mentioned in yesterday’s update and we are making progress. Due to the Labor Day weekend and the fact that most businesses are closed tomorrow, I will be unable to give you any more specific guidance on this issue until Tuesday afternoon.

We have established an online registration form on this website, that we need all employees to complete as soon as possible. We must have this critical information to re-establish contact with all of our employees. As I mentioned yesterday, our technology and communications systems were knocked out in the storm and we are rebuilding that infrastructure.

You will also notice that a smaller version of the university’s website is back up and running. We have added various links so that this site will serve as a helpful clearinghouse for information. Our work on this site is just beginning. I do want to acknowledge that many of you around the country have inquired as to how you can help us during this time. Those of us in Houston are deeply touched by these offers of assistance. In due time, we will find a way to organize and mobilize your offers to help but right now we are in the critical stages of solidifying the basic infrastructure of the university.

For my faculty colleagues, I want to share with you a message from Provost Lester Lefton and Senior Vice President Paul Whelton that follows this update. I will communicate with all of you tomorrow, September 5 th at noon CST.

Scott S. Cowen

September 3, 5 p.m.

Dear Tulane Friends,

I want to give you an update on our objectives for the next 48 hours. I share this information with you so that you will understand the complexity of the challenges we face.

We monitor the blogs on a regular basis and make an inventory of the most frequently asked questions and issues of concern. In time, we will address all of these issues.

However, time is of the essence and we have to focus on the most pressing issues to stabilize the university and resolve the most urgent issues facing our employees and campuses.

Right now we are focused on:

  • Identifying and resolving the urgent issues facing our employees
  • Restoring communications and our IT systems
  • Finalizing our housing and office space needs in Houston
  • Establishing task forces to deal with recovery and follow up issues (e.g. questions from students)
  • Attending to the needs of those still located on our campuses
  • Working with our insurance carriers and FEMA to document our losses
  • Addressing the personal needs of those Tulane staff who relocated to Houston to assist in our rebuilding effort.

We are making progress by the hour and are totally committed to rebuilding Tulane University, New Orleans and our personal lives as soon as possible. I ask your patience as we attempt to answer as many questions as we can, as swiftly as possible.

I will communicate again at noon CST on Sunday, September 4th.

Scott S. Cowen

September 3, 1 p.m.

Dear Tulane colleagues,

First of all, I want you to know how much I admire and respect your courage during these difficult times. We have all been through a terrible ordeal and I realize that many of you have lost all of your personal possessions. My heartfelt sympathies to each and everyone of you.

It is now time to address the most immediate issues facing our 6,000 employees and they are numerous. We are doing our best to address them as quickly and correctly as we can. I do not have many answers for you today but promise that I will as we continue this process.

Our goal is to try and eliminate as much uncertainty as possible about the future operations of the university and to assist you in rebuilding your professional careers and personal lives.

In this spirit, our immediate priorities are:

The storm interrupted our payroll system. We need to obtain new contact information for each and every employee. We are collecting records and building an online database for you to provide this information. Some employees did not receive their checks for the month of August. We have your
checks and are working on a means of delivering them to you. We are in the process of sorting out payroll issues for the month of September, specifically, the delivery of payroll checks. Electronic deposit systems were affected by the storm and we are working to overcome obstacles to direct payment and automatic deposit. Once we resolve these most immediate issues, we will focus on longer-term issues related to payroll.

Health Benefits.
United Healthcare is your insurance carrier. Use your coverage as you
would in New Orleans . If you have any questions, call them directly at 1-866-633-2446 or online at With this being the Labor Day weekend, the university will likely not have much specific information about the administration of health benefits before Tuesday, September 6th. We are working on it nonetheless and will keep you apprised of any new information we are able to secure.

Your Personal Recovery.
We know a lot of you lost property and we are working on ways to help you recover. We are investigating many sources of assistance to help your families recover, ranging from hotlines to help in locating missing family members. We are making progress by the hour as we mobilize our satellite operations here in
Houston. Our team is working to bolster our emergency website, which had to be relocated to Houston. In coming days, it will serve as a useful clearinghouse for all of our constituencies – students, faculty, and staff. I beg your patience as we continue to tackle these many issues that are so important to all of us.

I will communicate again at 5:00 p.m. CST and have another update specifically for employees tomorrow.

Scott S. Cowen

September 2, 5 p.m.

Dear friends of Tulane,

Since my relocation to Houston, I have had more access to information about the situation in New Orleans. I was hopeful that recovery would soon progress.

However, given the ongoing situation in the city, I am forced to make an extremely difficult decision – Tulane University cannot hold a fall semester on its campus.

While this news is extremely disappointing to all of us, our students can continue their academic careers uninterrupted thanks to an avalanche of support from our colleagues in higher education.

Nine of the leading higher education associations, which represent hundreds of colleges and universities around the country, have developed a plan to accept Tulane students, as well as those from other institutions adversely affected by the hurricane, for the fall semester only. This coalition has set forth guidelines for temporary enrollment for the fall semester. Read the statement

Tulane University will accept credit for all courses with a passing grade from regionally accredited universities; such credit will be applied to a student’s Tulane course of study. We encourage all Tulane students to enroll in courses that they might have enrolled in at Tulane, but equivalent or near equivalent courses will also count to degree progress.

Students enrolled in schools and colleges with accredited professional programs (for example: Business School, School of Social Work, Engineering School, and School of Architecture) should enroll in universities with programs that are also accredited.

Our student-athletes are an integral part of this plan. We want our athletes to carry the torch, face, and name of Tulane University during this difficult time and we have worked out an arrangement within the context of the plan described above. This is made possible once again with assistance and generosity from colleges and universities – those in Conference USA and those outside of the conference – who have generously offered to help keep our teams together by providing not only academic opportunities but also
practice facilities, playing facilities and general support.

As a president who is leading an institution during these challenging times, I have never been prouder than I am now to be in higher education. I am so indebted to my colleagues around the country for developing a plan that is both sensitive to the needs of our students and will also serve as a lifeline to those institutions dramatically affected.

Now that we have given guidance to our students, we will turn our attention to the many issues facing our employees. There are many unsung heroes in the Tulane community – men and women whose bravery made the evacuation of our campuses successful. Some are still on campus protecting our facilities.

The Tulane community is indebted to you. I am aware of the myriad of questions and concerns of our staff. We intend to provide helpful information tomorrow.

As you can imagine, there are many issues involved in managing the university’s recovery.

I realize you have questions – probably more questions than we can answer at this point. Rest assured that there will be opportunities to communicate and I will make myself available through a variety of means to do so. I anticipate communicating again by 1:00 pm CST tomorrow.

Scott S. Cowen

September 2, 10:30 a.m.

Dear Tulane students, parents and friends,

Since arriving in Houston about twelve hours ago, I have learned that there has been an outpouring of support and assistance from universities and colleges across the country. They are reaching out to help our students and university in all possible ways. I am deeply appreciative of these efforts during this time of tragedy.

I had an opportunity yesterday to speak with representatives of the three leading higher education organizations in the United States including the American Council on Education, the American Association of Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. We have scheduled a conference call for 2 p.m. today to discuss how universities and colleges around the country might offer help to our students in the event there are no classes held on Tulane’s campus this fall.

When possible, I’ve been trying to scan the student web blogs and am deeply touched beyond words by your support and passion. Your loyalty to Tulane University is touching and vital to our recovery plan.

I will update you again at 6 p.m.

Scott S. Cowen

September 1, 4 p.m.

Dear Friends of Tulane,

After five days on campus, our emergency team has just arrived in Houston from New Orleans, where we will be joined by the rest of our senior leadership team from locations around the country. We will be working out of Houston effective immediately. Now that we have access to electricity and Internet connectivity, we will be corresponding regularly via this website:

Our immediate priorities are:

1. Attend to the needs of our faculty and staff who remain on campus. They are safe but living conditions are not good. We evacuated the entire uptown campus safely. As of today, only a core team of public safety and facilities personnel remain. We are in the process of evacuating personnel from the Health Sciences Center downtown. Additionally, we are trying to continue to supply provisions to the remaining staff on-site at the Primate Center
in Mandeville. All of the students who were evacuated to Jackson State University in Mississippi have returned to their homes or are in the process of returning to their homes.

2. Re-establish our communications with constituencies ASAP. In particular, we will be giving guidance within 48 hours about our plans for this semester. I understand everyone’s anxiety but we need additional time to assess the situation in New Orleans.

3. Begin the recovery process. The campus did sustain some damage, though it generally fared very well during the storm. There are many downed trees, some buildings sustained water damage, and some roofing tiles were damaged. The necessary repairs are manageable. The dorms are intact and students’ belongings are safe.

I will update you again no later than 11 a.m. CST tomorrow, September 2, 2005. Please disseminate this email as widely as you can through any additional means you may have.

Scott S. Cowen