La Louisiane, chez nous-autres

Dear Tulane Community:

Spring break begins Monday for our students, but things are as busy as ever at Tulane. This week there was a heavy Green Wave presence in Baton Rouge – and not just for Wednesday evening's baseball matchup against LSU.

This was the week of our annual Tulane Day at the State Capitol where I was honored to meet with Gov. John Bel Edwards, State Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Don Pierson and a slate of legislators from around the state.

I shared the Tulane story with each of these officials realizing, of course, that the story of Tulane is really the story of Louisiana. Health care, research, coastal restoration, economic growth and workforce development are just some of the areas in which Tulane and the state of Louisiana work together in vital partnership.

I am pleased to say all of our leaders agreed that having Tulane University in Louisiana is a great boon and point of pride for our citizens. They recognize the life-saving work of our researchers, our role as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship and our nationally acclaimed contributions in literature, culture, architecture, law and more. They know Tulane's presence keeps many of our top scholars right here in their home state where they can attend one of the country's most highly ranked and prestigious universities. They also know Tulane's value in bringing the most academically qualified students in the world to Louisiana and transforming them into lifelong Tulanians and Louisianians. In fact, a poll of current Tulane students revealed that more than a third want to live in Louisiana after they graduate.

While touting our value to the state, I was also sure to underscore how much Tulane relies on Louisiana government to fund critical assets such as University Medical Center, which is so important to our medical school education. I encourage Gov. Edwards and all our legislators to work together to solve the current budget crisis while protecting essential services such as health care and education. We must do this for the sake of one another, for the sake of our future and for the sake of La Louisiane, chez nous-autres.