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Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Hello Again,

Over the past 24 hours, we at have seen overwhelming support from friends, students and alumni. News of this site seems to have spread like wildfire; we will not let you down. On our online petition, we have over 360 signatures in less than 12 hours. This should be a beacon of hope for our cause. is here to help coordinate efforts among Tulane’s advocates to convince the administration that keeping the College of Engineering is crucial to the future of Tulane and, perhaps more importantly, New Orleans.

I would first like to speak to some of our critics, of which there are very few. Let me say that, we do not condone ‘bashing’ of Dr. Cowen or the administration of Tulane University. We seek an amiable solution that does not sacrifice the education and future of Tulane’s engineering students. If you read the first line of our letter ‘…I respect Dr. Cowen. He truly cares about Tulane’s future.’ One cannot conclude that we are out to ‘bash’ President Cowen. It is quite the opposite in fact. We understand that this was not an easy decision and that it was with the administration’s best intentions.

We also understand the financial hardship currently being experienced by the University. No other university has had to undergo such a strenuous period, ever. However, elimination of the majority of the engineering programs is not the best long-term solution to the current financial crisis. The College of Engineering, which is expensive to operate, has a plethora of benefits. Among those benefits are our prestigious alumni. The largest single donations in Tulane University’s history came from two engineering alumni. David Filo, founder of Yahoo!, and Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, both made donations in the amount of $30 million each. (See attached link) Another important fact is that the College of Engineering was furthest along in their goal to raise $58 million dollars for the endowment fund.

Now, a quote from David Filo, “That I was in the position to start Yahoo! was in large part due to Tulane. They gave me a scholarship without which I probably would have never been able to attend.” This should say something about the quality of undergraduate engineering education at Tulane University. We, all of Tulane’s students, are a bright group. We have produced some great minds. For the University to undermine this potential is wrong.

In the next few days, we will outline ways in which the university can save money without sacrificing the vast majority of engineering programs at Tulane University. We would appreciate your constructive comments to be e-mailed to with the Subject: “Suggestions”

We appreciate all of you who have given us statistics about Tulane.
We will post those statistics as they become available in a cohesive manner.

Will Clarkson

Applicable Links:
List of Prestigious Alumni

David Filo Donation"ArticleID=5365

Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane

Promise and Distinction: Engineering

3 Responses to “Update”

1. Ray Says:
December 9th, 2005 at 5:47 pm
I grew up in New Orleans, a graduate of Ben Franklin High School, and I received two degrees in Computer Science from Rice University in Houston, while my brother received his BA and his law degree from Tulane.
Since graduation I have lived in the SF Bay Area and in Austin, Texas. I have always had this dream of being able to return to my hometown of New Orleans, but the lack of a high tech industry there has always stood in the way. But it seemed like someday it would happen, and I always thought the most likely leader in such a technology rebirth for the city would have to be Tulane.
Sadly, it seems that the University has given up, and at the worst possible time. The nation desperately needs people trained in the science and engineering disciplines, and New Orleans needs *more* investment in this area, not less, in order to kickstart its economy.
It can’t be all lawyers and oilmen and tourists in New Orleans. Not any more. And if Tulane can’t lead the way, who can?
There must be a better way. I know I would have been proud for my kids to attend the Tulane of old. I’m not sure I can say that now.

2. Joe Rees Says:
December 9th, 2005 at 7:56 pm
I am apalled by the number of petition signatories who seem to believe that cutting athletics as a viable solution! As a long-time Alumnus, I have come to realize that athletics are the most dependable way to maintain a connection to the University. Without the name-recognition and media coverage gained from athletics, those of us (the vast majority of Alumni) who live away from New Orleans would have to reason to stay aware of our University.
At the bottom line, I am chagrined that the Board has the short-sightedness to try to solve short-term problems with long-term sacrifices. The proper thing to do in a time like this is not to crawl into a hole where we will slowly bleed to death from already-inflicted wounds. Now is the time to go on the offensive. It is time to INCREASE our profile, not lessen it. It is time to redouble our efforts to make the Engineering School more relevant, not time to dismantle it.
It is time for Tulane Engineering to steal the march on coastal recovery. Tulnae must step to the fore and lead the way to scientifically reasoned recovery.
Dump the uselsess liberal-arts programs. This is not a time to be developing Social Workers and Psycholoigists — by the time they are made ready, the need will be past. But Engineers will be needed for the long-haul. There cannot be a recovery without skilled Engineering leadership. The schools who provide those Engineers are the ones who will reap huge dividends in prestige and future development.
SPEND THE FREAKIN’ ENDOWMENT already! It will do us no good languishing in the bank. Our Alumni will not let the University to go bankrupt. Spend now to make the Unbiversity more viable, more prestigious. That will draw grant money and community support.
This is not a time for cowardice. It is a time to go “all in” and trust that we can show a winning hand.

3. Kevin Gremillion Says:
December 9th, 2005 at 8:58 pm
Unfortunately, the endowment (well most of it anyway) is restricted. The university does not have open access to it. From what I understand the university can access around $100 million of it and is using that as part of the plan to rebuild. Insurance and grant money will take sometime before it ever makes it to the university and the cost of rebuilding has believed to be around $200 million.
I truly hope that other ways to reduce costs can be found without losing valuable programs such as those in the engineering school.
Kevin J. Gremillion
MBA 2005
Master of Accounting 2006
AB Freeman School of Business
Tulane University[url][/url][url][/url]
- Justin Mikowski
Computer Engineering '07
"Non sibi Sed Suis" -Not for one's self but for one's people.
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