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Tulane University


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 pursues this mission by cultivating an environment that focuses on learning and the generation of new knowledge; by expecting and rewarding teaching and research of extraordinarily high quality and impact; and by fostering community-building initiatives as well as scientific, cultural and social understanding that integrate with and strengthen learning and research. This mission is pursued in the context of the unique qualities of our location in New Orleans and our continual aspiration to be a truly distinctive international university.


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 students a breadth of choice equaled by few other independent universities in the country. Tulane University's ten academic divisions enroll approximately 8,000 undergraduates and about 5,000 graduate and professional students. The schools of Architecture, Business, Liberal Arts, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Science and Engineering offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. Other divisions include the Schools of Law, Medicine, Social Work, and Professional Advancement. 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 Chase, 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

  • by its unique relationship to the culturally rich and diverse city of New Orleans, characterized by its great waterways.
  • by its financial strength and viability.

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:

  • a focus on an exceptional undergraduate program that is campus- and student-centric and a dedication to the holistic development of students
  • a core that is surrounded and strengthened by superb graduate, professional and research programs that build on the university's historical strengths and distinctive characteristics.

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.


Tulane University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Tulane University.

University Administration

Michael A. Fitts
JD., Yale University
President of the University

Robin Forman
Ph.D., Harvard University
Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Ana M. López
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Associate Provost

Michael Cunningham
Ph.D., Emory 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

Charlotte Maheu
Ph.D., University of New Orleans
Executive Director of the Honors Program

Andrew Martinez
Ph.D., Princeton University
Associate Dean

Molly Travis
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Associate Dean

Scott Pentzer
Ph.D., Tulane University
Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Center for Global Education

School of Architecture

Kenneth Schwartz
M.Arch., Cornell University

Kentaro Tsubaki
M.Arch., Cranbrook Academy of Art
Associate Dean

A.B. Freeman School of Business

Ira Solomon
Ph.D., University of Texas

Paul A Spindt
Ph.D., University of California
Senior Associate Dean

School of Professional Advancement

Suri L. Duitch
Ph.D., City University of New York Graduate Center

Ilianna H. Kwaske
Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Patricia Oates
M.B.A., American Military University
Interim Campus Director, Biloxi

School of Law

David Meyer
J.D., University of Michigan

Stephen Griffin
J.D., University of Kansas
Vice Dean

School of Liberal Arts

Carole Haber
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Kevin Gotham
Ph.D., University of Kansas
Associate Dean

Jeremy Jernegan
MFA, San Jose State University
Associate Dean

School of Science and Engineering

Nicholas J. Altiero
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Gary L. McPherson
Ph.D., University of Illinois
Senior Associate Dean

Janet Ruscher
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs

Beth Wee
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

School of Social Work

Patrick Bordnick
Ph.D. University of Georgia

Jane Parker
M.S.W., University of Southern Mississippi
Associate Dean

School of Medicine

Lee Hamm

M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

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

Libraries and Academic Information Resources

David Banush
M.L.I.S., Wayne State University

Student Affairs

J. Davidson Porter
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Carolyn Barber-Pierre
M.A., Bowling Green State University
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Student Programs

Brian M. Johnson
Ed.D., Drexel University
Assistant Vice President, Housing and Residence Life/Campus Recreation

John Nonnamaker
Ph.D., Fordham University
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

Smita Ruzicka
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
Assistant Vice President, Campus Life

Scott Tims
Ph.D., Auburn University
Assistant Vice President, Campus Health

Enrollment Management

Satyajit Dattagupta
M.B.A., Southwest Minnesota State University
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of  Undergraduate Admission

Rebecca Ancira
B.A., University of New Orleans
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management

Michael T. Goodman
B.A., Tulane University
Associate Vice President for University Financial Aid

Colette P. Raphel
B.A., Tulane University
University Registrar

Bradley K. Booke
A.M., University of Chicago
Assistant Vice President for Admission and Retention Initiatives

Leila Labens
M.B.A., Tulane University
 Director of Strategic Recruitment

Jeff Schiffman
M.L.A., Tulane University
Director of Undergraduate Admission

Technology Services

Charles McMahan
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Tulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA