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A Special View From Gibson - Task Force Reports

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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Dear Tulane Community:

Tulane University has extraordinary natural strengths with its range of disciplines, size and distinct character. We have an opportunity to build on these strengths to create a leading model in higher education, with the most interconnected living and learning environment and interdisciplinary research that takes on some of the most profound local and global challenges. Two task forces I convened in my first year as president, the Task Force on the Undergraduate Experience and the Task Force on Academic Collaborations, have illuminated our path forward. It's been deeply rewarding for me to work with these teams.

Over the summer we shared the task force reports with the Board of Tulane and the academic deans. Both the board members and deans were impressed and energized. I am delighted now to share the reports with the university community. Here are links to the final reports: the Report of the President's Task Force on the Undergraduate Experience and the Report of the President's Task Force on Academic Collaborations. I hope you enjoy reading them. Along with the members of the two task forces, I'm eager to hear your reactions. Please direct your feedback and comments regarding the report on the Undergraduate Experience to Dr. Dusty Porter, vice president for Student Affairs, at jporter6@tulane.edu. Please send comments about the Academic Collaborations report to Dr. Laura Levy, vice president for research, at llevy@tulane.edu.

We are already advancing some of the recommendations, including developing cross-school professorships, developing incentive funds for collaborative research, enhancing the TIDES interdisciplinary courses, enhancing the honors program, expanding our approach to campus health and establishing more links between academic programs and residential life.

I am grateful for the efforts and insights of all the task force members. My sincerest gratitude goes to them and task force chairs Drs. Porter and Levy and co-chairs Dr. Rebecca Mark for the Undergraduate Experience and Dr. Donald Gaver for Academic Collaborations. I am certain the goals and steps proposed by both groups will strongly position Tulane and provide compelling themes for the upcoming capital campaign. These are exciting times. Let's keep shaping them together.

Signature of Mike Fitts