Photo of light streaming through oak trees on the uptown campus
Survival to Renewal
Tulane University

Dear Tulane undergraduate students,

I am writing you personally to let you know how much I look forward to your return in January.  You have been through a lot this semester and the disruption has no doubt taken a toll on you and your family.  On top of Hurricane Katrina, you have also recently learned that the university will change in some dramatic ways over the coming years.

For the vast majority of you these changes, which are the result of Hurricane Katrina, will either have no impact, or they will make your experience at Tulane an even more profound and valuable one.  However, for those students in programs that are being phased out, I understand that our recent decisions have impacted you personally and created new concerns.  Please know that we are continually working to find ways to minimize any adverse impact.  This week we will be addressing the most pressing issues for those affected students.

The situation we faced this fall required us to take quick and decisive action to secure the future of the university; however, in the coming months all of you will play an important role in shaping that future.   Rather than take the time now to explain the rationale and vision behind our very comprehensive Renewal Plan, I will hold a student Town Hall meeting the first full week you return in January.  I will go through the plan in detail, as well as brief you on what Tulane has been through since the storm.  It is quite a story in which you all play a lead role.  In addition, I will personally meet with all affected students to further explain our changes and how we can move forward together.   Finally, I will also meet with your student leaders next week to give them a full briefing.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns contact us at our Academic Reorganization Call Center,  which operates Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., central time.  The numbers are, toll-free, 888-862-8799 or, in New Orleans, 504-862-8799. I also ask you to continue to monitor your e-mail and our website,, where in the "Information for Students" section we have posted FAQs about the changes.

You have been in our hearts and minds since the Katrina odyssey began.   Even though it may be hard to understand at times, our every decision has been with you in mind and with the ultimate goal of protecting the long-term well-being of the institution that unites us all--Tulane University.

President Cowen