April 21, 2018

New Orleans Universities Face Cuts

By LJ Staff

With most public librarians already jobless in New Orleans as the city rebuilds after Hurricane Katrina, the city’s institutions of higher education are also facing cuts. Tulane University officials recently said that the university would cut as many as 230 faculty positions; 180 would come from the medical school, roughly a third of the school’s current faculty. Another phased elimination will trim 50 faculty positions in "discontinued undergraduate and professional degree programs." At press time it was still unclear how much libraries would be affected by the plan.

Tulane president Scott Cowen said that "employee reductions were necessary to secure the university’s future." On the positive side, Cowen announced that Tulane would open its doors on January 17 to approximately 86 percent of the students enrolled pre-Katrina, "a figure no one thought conceivable three months ago." Despite some belt-tightening, Cowen sounded a defiant note on the university’s web site. "I am here today to tell you," Cowen wrote, unveiling a plan to restore Tulane, "that regardless of what challenges we face we have no intention of letting this disaster destroy our legacy and dream of world-class academic excellence. I make this pledge on behalf of Tulane University, the premier academic university in the region, New Orleans’ largest employer and one of the largest economic engines in the state." Other universities in the area face similar cuts.