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Mission Statement

Tulane’s purpose is to create, communicate, and conserve knowledge in order to enrich the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to think, to learn, and to act and lead with integrity and wisdom.


Tulane University, one of the foremost independent national universities in the South, is ranked among the top quartile of the nation’s most highly selective universities. With ten schools and colleges that range from the liberal arts and sciences through a full spectrum of professional schools, Tulane gives its 11,000 students a breadth of choice equaled by few other independent universities in the country.

Tulane University’s ten academic divisions enroll approximately 5,500 undergraduates and about 4,800 graduate and professional students. The schools of Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, and Science and Engineering offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. Other divisions include the Schools of Law, Medicine, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Social Work, and Continuing Studies. All divisions except the medical complex, which includes a teaching hospital and clinic, are located on Tulane’s 110-acre campus in uptown New Orleans.

The University’s origins trace back to the founding of the Medical College of Louisiana, the Deep South’s first medical school, in 1834. Classes started the next year when 11 students and seven faculty members met in a rented hall; students paid for instruction by the lecture. Born of the desperate need for competent medical care in this region and of the founders’ dedication to study and treat “the peculiar diseases which prevail in this part of the Union,” the college quickly earned recognition.

Soon the medical college merged with the public University of Louisiana in New Orleans, adding a law department and a “collegiate” department that became Tulane College. The university continued building a national reputation. J. L. Riddell, professor of chemistry, built the first successful binocular microscope in 1852. The medical department faculty fought for improved public health and sanitation; and, in 1857, Christian Roselius, an early graduate of the collegiate and law departments, was appointed Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The Civil War forced the University to close. After the war, the University reopened in financial trouble. Total assets, excluding buildings, totaled $4,570.39 in 1866. In the early l880s, Paul Tulane provided a permanent solution by donating more than $1 million “for the promotion and encouragement of intellectual, moral, and industrial education.” Tulane had made his fortune in New Orleans before returning to his native Princeton, New Jersey; his gift expressed his appreciation to the city.

The 17-member board authorized to administer the Tulane Educational Fund decided to revitalize the struggling University of Louisiana instead of founding a new institution. Paul Tulane concurred, and in 1884, the Louisiana legislature gave the University of Louisiana to the administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund. Tulane University of Louisiana, a private, non-sectarian institution, was born.

As a result of its new strength, the University was able to create the Department of Philosophy and Science, which later became the Graduate School, and initiate courses in architecture and engineering. In 1886, Josephine Louise Newcomb founded Newcomb College as a memorial to her daughter, Harriott Sophie. Newcomb was the first degree-granting women’s college in the nation to be established as a coordinate division of a men’s university. It became the model for other coordinate women’s colleges, including Barnard and Radcliffe Newcomb’s founding is linked with the World’s Industrial and Cotton Exposition which opened in Audubon Park in 1884. Several artisans who came to the New Orleans Exposition to exhibit their own work and see the works of others stayed to establish the arts program, which was at the heart of Newcomb’s early curriculum. By the early 1900s, Newcomb pottery had won a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition, its fame had spread across the nation, and young women were engaged in the unusual task of earning an independent living.

In 1894, Tulane moved to its present campus on St. Charles Avenue, five miles by streetcar from its former site in downtown New Orleans. At about the same time, the Richardson Memorial Building was built on Canal Street to house the medical school. Some medical classes were moved to the uptown campus, but clinical teaching remained downtown. The medical school was split between campuses until a major reorganization in the 1960s.

For a quarter of a century, Newcomb College had been on Washington Avenue in the Garden District. In 1918 it, too, moved uptown to join other divisions of the university.

Around the turn of the century, Tulane’s curriculum grew as several new professional schools were established, including the Deep South’s first schools of architecture, business, and social work. City officials frequently consulted the College of Technology, which became the School of Engineering, on construction techniques and soil conditions. Engineering alumnus A. Baldwin Wood designed the famous Wood screw pump that helps drain New Orleans in times of torrential rains and flooding. The first student yearbook, Jambalaya, and the first Tulanian, the alumni magazine, were published. The Alumni Association was founded with 800 members, and significant contributions to the University financed new buildings, library holdings, and research facilities. The Middle American Research Institute, founded in 1924, became a pioneer in Central American archaeology and anthropology, excavating and restoring the Mayan village of Dzibilchaltun in the Yucatan.

Since then, research in many disciplines has flowered through the establishment of research centers, including: the Murphy Institute of Political Economy, the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Bioenvironmental Research, the Tulane Museum of Natural History, and the Amistad Research Center, curator of one of the largest collections in the world of primary source material on American ethnic groups, especially African-Americans.

As early as the 1890s, Tulane offered free lectures and classes to the New Orleans community. This commitment to community service was reaffirmed in 1942 with the founding of University College, now the School of Continuing Studies, which offers adult education and sponsors the annual Summer School.

After World War II, Tulane’s Graduate School and the professional programs continued to grow. The university was elected to the Association of American Universities, a select group of over 60 universities with “pre-eminent programs of graduate and professional education and scholarly research.” The Tulane Medical Center, now the Health Sciences Center, was established in 1969 to include the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the Tulane University Medical Center Hospital and Clinic. The Health Sciences Center also administers the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, Louisiana; the F. Edward Hebert Riverside Research Center in Belle Chasse, Louisiana; and the International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research (ICIDR) Program in Cali, Colombia.

By their very nature, universities are organic, 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 the process.

In the fall of 2005, following the nation’s worst national disaster—Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding—Tulane University was confronted with unprecedented challenges and, if those challenges could be mastered, tremendous opportunities. The administration and the Board of Tulane University were faced redefining and renewing the university for the future. University President Scott Cowen called the resulting plan “the most significant reinvention of a university in the United States in over a century.”

The plan outlined four characteristics that define Tulane University:

With these four characteristics in mind, an intensive examination of the university’s organizational structure was undertaken and ways of maximizing organizational efficiency were identified. The resulting renewal plan has at its center:

Tulane’s programs were shaped by the university’s direct experience with the unprecedented natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the experience provided faculty, staff and students with equally unprecedented research, learning and community service opportunities that have had a lasting and profound impact on them, the city of New Orleans, the Gulf Coast region, and other world communities.

University Administration

Scott S. Cowen

D.B.A., George Washington University

President of the University
Michael Bernstein

Ph.D., Yale University

Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Ana M. López

Ph.D., University of Iowa

Associate Provost
Brian Mitchell

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Associate Provost
Michael H. Hogg

J.D., M.B.A., Tulane University

Associate Provost

Newcomb-Tulane College

James M. MacLaren

Ph.D., Imperial College, University of London

Amjad Ayoubi

Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

Associate Dean and Director of Career Services and Academic Advising
F. Thomas Luongo

Ph.D., Notre Dame

Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Honors Program
Mary Ann Maguire

Ph.D., Stanford University

Associate Dean
Andrew Martinez

Ph.D., Princeton University

Associate Dean
Richard Watts

Ph.D., Yale

Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Center for Global Education

School of Architecture

Kenneth Schwartz

M.Arch., Cornell University

Elizabeth Gamard

M.Arch., Yale

Associate Dean

A.B. Freeman School of Business

Angelo DeNisi
  Ph.D., Purdue University
Michael Hogg
  J.D., M.B.A., Tulane University
  Associate Dean

School of Continuing Studies

Richard A. Marksbury

Ph.D., Tulane University

Terrence W. Fitzmorris

Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
John Olson

M.S., University of South Alabama

Assistant Dean

School of Law

Larry Ponoroff
  J.D., Stanford University
Stephen Griffin
  J.D., University of Kansas
  Vice Dean

School of Liberal Arts

Carole Haber
  Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

 School of Science and Engineering

Nicholas J. Altiero

Ph.D., University of Michigan

Gary L. McPherson

Ph.D., University of Illinois

Senior Associate Dean
Carol Burdsall

Ph.D., Duke

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

School of Social Work

Ronald Marks

Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.W., University of Pittsburgh

Jane Parker

M.S.W., University of Southern Mississippi

Associate Dean

Health Sciences Center

Benjamin Sachs

M.D., St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School

Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

School of Medicine

Benjamin Sachs

M.D., St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School

Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Pierre Buekens

M.D., Ph.D., Free University of Brussels


Libraries & Academic Information Resources

Lance Query

Ph.D., Indiana University


Student Affairs

Cynthia Cherrey

Ph.D., University of Denver

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Kevin Bailey

Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Associate Vice President for Campus Life
Carolyn Barber-Pierre

M.A., Bowling Green State University

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Student Programs
Rob Hailey

M.B.A., Tulane University

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs University Services
Todd H. Schill

Ed.D., University of Virginia

Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs for Housing/Residence Life
Mary McGuire

M.Ed., Bowling Green State University

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Student Centers

Enrollment Management

Earl Retif

J.D., Loyola University of New Orleans

Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admission and Registrar
David Seaver

M.Ed., Harvard University

Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Recruitment and Assessment
Laurie Lagonegro

M.B.A., Tulane University

Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Student Information Systems

Technology Services

Paul Barron

J.D., University of Pennsylvania

Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Ann Kovalchik

Ph.D., University of Virginia

Deputy Chief Information Officer

New Orleans

Tulane students find that the City of New Orleans is a source of learning and intellectual challenge. “The test of a first-rate intelligence,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” New Orleans can offer such a test, for in few American cities today do the past and the future unite so intensely.

New Orleans was founded because of its location near the mouth of the Mississippi River. As a port and strategic outpost, the area has played an important role in American history and the economy.

Governed in the past by the French and the Spanish, the city still expresses this European influence in its architecture, food, and way of life. Mixed with these cultural elements and the strong African, Cajun, Caribbean, Creole and traditions are newer influences to the community: German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Spanish, and Vietnamese peoples who have brought new diversity to the city. These added components increase the diversity of the city’s rich historical and cultural heritage, combining the best of the Old World with the New.

New Orleans is a city of local delights. New Orleanians are fascinated by their food, a cuisine enriched by the African, French, Indian, and Spanish cultures. The wonder of the food is that it can be excellent not only in the well-known restaurants of the French Quarter but in dozens of lesser-known neighborhood restaurants as well. New Orleans’ music is as distinctive as its food. It is the hometown of not just Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, but Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, the Marsalis family, the Neville Brothers, and Lee Dorsey. Both of these local delights are known and loved all over the world but are at their best at home.

This rich mixture of history is celebrated often and heartily, most notably in the great street festival and social pageant known as Mardi Gras. Carnival lasts two weeks, but its spirit lingers through the year. Mardi Gras beads hang from car mirrors, balconies, and every other conceivable location. The city also takes pride in its symphony orchestra, opera, art museums, theaters, professional sports, zoo, aquarium, and attractions uniquely its own, such as Jazz Fest, sailing on Lake Pontchartrain, riverboats on the Mississippi, and late night cups of cafe au lait. New Orleanians cultivate their capacity to enjoy their own physical and cultural environment. If it is possible to learn that kind of appreciation, New Orleans is the place to do it.

Undergraduate College and Schools

Beginning in 2006, the Newcomb-Tulane College has administrative oversight for the full-time undergraduate experience and the common core curriculum. The Newcomb-Tulane College comprises all full-time undergraduate programs at the university, including those in architecture, business, liberal arts, public health and tropical medicine, and science and engineering. When a student designates a major, whether that decision is made upon admission or before the end of spring semester of the sophomore year, the student also will be considered a student in the school that houses that major. Ultimately, students simultaneously will be in the Newcomb-Tulane College and a school. For example, a student who majors in cell and molecular biology is in the School of Science and Engineering and the Newcomb-Tulane College. The School of Continuing Studies oversees programs for part-time students.

With this distinctive academic arrangement, students have access to diverse interdisciplinary opportunities and research resources. Tulane has one of the widest combined degree selections available at any university, including joint-degree programs among liberal arts, sciences, engineering, architecture, or business; and between engineering and business at the undergraduate level.

Tulane’s 8-to-1 ratio of students to faculty members, combined with the university’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, means that Tulane classrooms are places of intellectual excitement.

Faculty supervise student research projects in every subject area, making Tulane one of the few universities where students can work individually with faculty members throughout their undergraduate years, not just as seniors or graduate students.

Undergraduates make up nearly 60 percent of the student population at Tulane. They come from all 50 states and many other countries, with approximately one-third of full-time first-year students from the Northeast, one-third from the South, and one-third from the West and Midwest.

H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute

The H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute is a center offering educational and co- curricular programs designed to enhance women’s education and leadership at Tulane University. The Institute’s mission furthers a 120-year old Newcomb legacy of providing all undergraduate women students with programs, tools, and experiences to enhance their leadership and scholarship.


The Newcomb Institute was established in 2006 by the Board of Tulane to continue the legacy of Newcomb College, which was established by Josephine Louise Newcomb in 1886 as a memorial to her daughter, Harriott Sophie. Mrs. Newcomb’s commitment to women’s education and leadership is legendary. The Newcomb history has been one of change and evolution with a high regard for enriching the academic and leadership opportunities for women in the Tulane University community. Newcomb was the first degree-granting women’s college in the nation and the first to be established as a coordinate division of a men’s university.

In the 1960s coeducational classes were introduced and by 1969 most academic departments in both colleges were unified under one chair. In 1976, coeducational housing for Newcomb College and Tulane College was adopted. In 1987, the faculties of the two undergraduate liberal arts and science colleges were combined. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Board of Tulane enacted The Renewal Plan, which consolidated all undergraduate schools and colleges and established the Newcomb-Tulane Undergraduate College. The Newcomb endowment and programs were preserved to support the Institute and other Newcomb entities and it continues today to advance women’s leadership programs and scholarship.


The Newcomb Institute focuses on developing and offering dynamic programs for women students. A key academic feature of the Institute is the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, one of ten interdisciplinary research centers at Tulane University. The Center is the oldest university-based women's center in the Gulf South and is the only regional member of the National Council for Research on Women.

Women undergraduates who complete a program, course of study, or activity designated by a faculty committee through The Newcomb Institute are recognized as Newcomb Scholars. Participation and accomplishment in such programs are noted on the student transcript and recognized by the awarding of a certificate. Together with the new Newcomb-Tulane Undergraduate College, the Newcomb Institute coordinates special programming for women at the Josephine Louise House, an all-female residential house.

A special opportunity offered to both faculty and undergraduate women students is the Newcomb Fellows Program. The Fellows Program permits students to participate actively in research, and it has been directly responsible for forging close ties between faculty in different fields and dedicated, interested students. The Newcomb fellows, a core faculty committed to women’s education and drawn from all faculties of the university, are eligible for funding of research and course planning in support of their activities for the institute.

Graduate Education

The schools offer research oriented graduate programs leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, and Master of Science. The School of Liberal Arts also offers professionally oriented programs leading to the degree of Master of Fine Arts. The Master of Liberal Arts program is offered by School of Continuing Studies, the continuing education division of Tulane, in cooperation with the School of Liberal Arts, which actually confers the M.L.A. degree.


Tulane University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award bachelor, master, doctoral and professional degrees.

General Policies

Tulane University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity institution. Consequently, its policy of nondiscrimination includes recruitment, employment, admission retention and promotion of the most qualified students, faculty, and staff regardless of an individual’s race, sex, color, religion, marital/ethnic origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, handicap, or veteran status. Tulane University does not discriminate in its provision of services and benefits or in its treatment of students, patients, and employees. Inquiries regarding this policy may be referred to the Office of Institutional Equity.

Tulane University is committed to a policy of compliance with Federal laws and regulations concerning nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national/ethnic origin, religion, age handicap, or veteran status in educational or institutional programs and activities. Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the other similar legislation prohibit such discrimination.

Tulane University has implemented grievance procedures for faculty, staff, and students concerning cases of alleged discrimination, including those of alleged sexual harassment. It is the policy of the University that harassment on the basis of sex among employees constitutes an impermissible employment practice, which is subject to disciplinary action and shall not be tolerated. Complaints or confidential inquiries may be referred to the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Institutional Equity.

Sexual harassment involving students and university personnel or among students is equally impermissible and shall not be tolerated. The University is committed to providing an environment to study free of discrimination and sexual harassment.

Reporting the Complaint: It is not necessary to first confront the harasser prior to instituting a complaint under this policy. However, it is appropriate to promptly report a complaint so that a full and complete investigation is possible. Any person designated to receive complaints from students, employees, or faculty must notify the Office of Institutional Equity within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving a harassment complaint.

Complaints by students: A student who believes she or he has been harassed or is being harassed may report the alleged harassing behavior to any of the following individuals or agencies:

Tulane University complies with the provision of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which was enacted to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act. Information concerning the rights and protection under the Act, the types and locations of education records maintained and the procedure to be used by the institution for compliance with the provisions of the Act can be obtained from the following offices: Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Services (and Registrar’s Office. Grievances or confidential inquiries concerning the Act may be referred to the Office of Institutional Equity.

It is the policy and practice of Tulane University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and all state and local requirements regarding individuals with disabilities. Under these laws, no qualified individual with a disability shall be denied access to, or participation in, services, programs, and activities of Tulane University. Accommodations are provided to those with documented disabilities through the Office of Disabilities Services. This office can be reached at (504) 862-8433.