Messages for Students

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 - 4 p.m.

New Withdrawal Deadline Announced

In recognition of the fact that some parents and students are still exploring options for the Fall '05 and Spring ‘06 semesters, Tulane University has extended its withdrawal deadline until November 1.

The university is keenly aware that some of its students realized a substantial financial hardship as a result of this unprecedented natural disaster. To assist those students and their families in the recovery process, the university will also extend the payment deadline for any fall tuition owed the university until May 1, 2006. Our hope is that by providing the opportunity to defer the fall tuition obligation without a finance charge, all of our students will be able to continue their educational program in January without interruption when the university resumes classes in New Orleans.

Finally, later this week Tulane will issue a statement regarding the spring semester. This statement will describe opportunities for students to continue their studies at Tulane University in the Spring of 2006.

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.

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 13, 2005 - 6 p.m.

Academic Issues for Fall, 2005—Frequently Asked Questions—Tuition

Frequently Asked Questions—Transferring Credits/Courses and Other Academic Matters

September 9, 2005 - 2 p.m.


As a result of Hurricane Katrina and the enormous disruption it created for Tulane University and its students, the university has extended the deadline for withdrawal to September 27th, 2005. This extension will allow students and institutions more time to make informed decisions about the fall semester based on the information provided in the FAQ to be posted next week.

Tulane University is a large and complex institution with 13,000 students in eleven different colleges and schools – each student has a different circumstance. It is virtually impossible to develop a general statement to apply to all students in all cases. However, we are currently in the process of drafting numerous scenarios to illustrate our tuition policy and how it will be implemented under this most unusual set of circumstances in an international research university. One of our scenarios will cover the case of a student that enrolled in an institution that required them to pay tuition. We will begin to post our FAQs on Monday.

Please use this extension to weigh your options carefully before making any decisions regarding your plans for the fall and spring semesters.

This website is the only official source of information about Tulane University.

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 Monday.

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, 2005 - 7 p.m.

Special Notice Regarding Tuition Questions

As a result of the numerous questions about tuition that we have received from parents and students through, we are preparing a “Frequently Asked Questions” document that will be posted to this website no later than Monday, September 12 at 5 p.m.

We again ask for your patience as we compile this FAQ, as there are numerous questions and many details that must be ironed out. Currently we are reviewing the questions on our websites to identify the most general issues that need to be answered at this time, realizing we will not be able to address your individual issues for several more weeks. For example, the following are two frequently asked questions:

1. What happens if I paid my fall bill, which includes tuition, room and board, and fees, and did not attend another university or college this semester?

The amount paid will be credited to your spring bill.

2. What if I paid my fall bill and I decide not to re-enroll at Tulane University for the spring semester?

Funds paid to Tulane University will be returned to you as soon as is practical. However, at that point you will no longer be a Tulane student and it will be necessary to reapply for admission to Tulane University .

We anticipate adding to this list of questions and posting the answers no later than Monday, Sept. 12. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to participate in a live chat with President Scott Cowen tomorrow at 5 p.m. CT. during which he will address the issue of tuition.

September 8, 2005 - 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, 2005 - 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 Tulane University, Department 572, P.O. Box 4869, Houston, TX 77210-4869.

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


The Health Sciences Center senior leadership team is temporarily based in Houston and participating actively in planning for continuance of the university's academic mission. The Alliance of South Texas Academic Health Centers (Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston) is assisting our School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in implementing their educational, research and practice missions. The goal is to have Tulane medical students in classrooms by September 26th and medical residents placed by October 1. Additional details will be provided on the School of Medicine website ( on or before September 15th.

The Association of Schools of Public Health ( ) is facilitating placement of our School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine students at other accredited schools of public health.

With assistance from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, we have secured vital research assets and are working with sister institutions to continue our research program.

Our clinicians are active in Alexandria, Lafayette and other sites in Louisiana. We are also working with our private practice partner HCA, the State of Louisiana and the Veterans Administration to bring our clinical practice mission to full capacity as soon as possible.

Paul Whelton, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
Ian Taylor, Dean, Tulane School of Medicine
Pierre Buekens, Dean, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

September 7, 2005 - 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, 2005 - 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 include:

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

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 Tulane University, Department 572, P.O. Box 4869
Houston, TX 77210-4869, 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 5, 2005 - 3:30 p.m.

Access to Campus

While we understand that employees and students are anxious about campus facilities, at this time no one is permitted to be on the campus except for those individuals previously assigned duties there. Should anyone disregard this notice, we cannot be responsible for their safety.

At this time, federal, state and local officials are working around the clock to secure the city. In order to assist them in their endeavors and also to help us begin the safe and efficient recovery process for our campus, please heed this request to stay away.

When it is appropriate for you to return, we will let you know.

September 5, 2005 - 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 3, 2005 - 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:

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 4 th.

Scott S. Cowen

September 2, 2005 - 5 p.m.

Dear students,

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, 2005 - 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, 2005 - 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

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