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President Michael A. Fitts

Welcome from President Fitts

President Michael A. Fitts

At Tulane University, learning is freed from siloed disciplines or majors. We are cross-disciplinary to the core.

Finance students study Shakespeare, music majors explore neuroscience, student-athletes become physicians, and everyone reaches beyond campus, beyond themselves and beyond what they dreamed possible to bring positive change to the community and the world.

We educate the whole person – intellectually, emotionally and socially – teaching the love of knowledge for its own sake and how to use that knowledge to tackle the pressing issues of our time.

We are both a major research enterprise and a tight-knit community of small classes and one-on-one mentor relationships.

Our students travel farther to attend school than students anywhere in the country. They are drawn by a thriving, welcoming community of nearly 14,000 students located in one of the world’s most culturally diverse and environmentally significant regions.

We are a microcosm of the greatest global challenges and treasures and our boundary-crossing learning and research engages with it all – infectious diseases, coastal erosion, music, art and language.

Below are key initiatives to prepare the next generation of leaders and ensure the continued growth of Tulane’s cross-disciplinary, global-impacting discovery and creativity.

Jean-Pyo Lee
Tulane researcher awarded $2.4 million to study stem cell treatment for stroke

Jean-Pyo Lee, PhD, assistant professor of physiology in the Tulane School of Medicine, was recently awarded a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study the use of neural stem cells in treating stroke.

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Asim Abdel-Mageed
Researcher’s publication honored as top 100 by ‘Scientific Reports’

Asim Abdel-Mageed, DVM, PhD, professor of urology and Marguerite Main Zimmerman Professor of Cancer Research at the Tulane School of Medicine, was recently honored by the journal Scientific Reports for authoring one of the top 100 accessed oncology papers for the journal in 2018.

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A mosquito on human skin
Tulane study shows vaccine protects against equine viruses that threaten humans

For the first time, a new vaccine provided complete protection against three types of equine encephalitic viruses in nonhuman primates, according to a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. 

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Diego Rose
Just one change per day can make your diet more planet friendly

Food production is an important contributor to climate change, accounting for about a quarter of carbon emissions globally. If Americans changed their diets by swapping out just one item each day, they could greatly reduce their carbon footprint from food, according to a new Tulane University study that examined the real-world diets of thousands of people in the United States.

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Key Initiatives


Fitts with students at Homecoming
Enhancing the Student Experience

President Fitts is creating a campus that will fuel learning, collaboration and community.
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A diverse group of students sits on the lawn looking up at the camera
Honoring and Advancing Diversity

The Presidential Commission on Race and Tulane Values is committed to fostering a racially diverse, inclusive community for all Tulanians.
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A researcher poses with a 3d model of a kidney
Promoting Pioneering Research

President Fitts believes working across disciplines to pursue groundbreaking discoveries has the most significant global impact.
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Fitts reveals Only the Audacious campign
Ensuring Financial Stability

Under President Fitts’s leadership, Tulane has shattered fundraising records year after year since launching Only the Audacious: The Campaign for an ever bolder Tulane.
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President Fitts was inspired to pursue law partly by the iconic novel To Kill a Mockingbird and its themes of justice and virtue.

Soon after becoming president of Tulane, President Fitts met the only Tulane alumnus who served as the leader of a country, Luis Guillermo Solís, who was then president of Costa Rica.

President Fitts served as a legal counsel to the White House, President and Cabinet during parts of the administrations of both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

When President Fitts was in college, he joined a volunteer team of independent observers who helped calm a prison uprising.

President Fitts’ favorite sports hero is the baseball legend Hank Aaron. President Fitts once had the thrill of meeting Hank Aaron and hearing him tell stories about his career over lunch.

Although his job today puts him in a position where he might convene committees to examine different topics, one of President Fitts’ formative experiences as a student was serving on a committee to rethink the undergraduate curriculum. That involvement influenced his future career in higher education and leadership.