Faculty Science & Engineering

122 Lindy Boggs Center

August 30, 2007
 4:00 – 5:15 PM


Attendance: Ammons, Aricak, Armstrong, Altiero, Aung, Beyers, Bishop, Blum, Burdsal, Caruso, Chambers, Christenson, Collins, Corey, Cortez, Cserjesi, Cunningham, Dancisak, Daniel, Dauns, Dawers, De Kee, Didier, Dohanich, Dotson, Dyer, Fauci, Fink, Gaver, Godbey, Hebert, Heins, Herman, Hopkins, Inglis, Jacobsen, Jayawickramarajah, Johannesson, Kalka, Kaplan, Koplitz, Lacey, Law, Liukkonen, Lopreore, Mague, Mao, McGuire, McLachlan, McPherson, Mitchell, Mislove, Molix, Moore, Moosavi, Mullin, Murfee, Nelson, O’Connor, Oertling, Overby, Overstreet, Papadopoulos, Parsley, Piringer, Prindle, Reed, Rice, Ruscher, Schexnider, Schrader, Schmehl, Sigal, Sulkes, Sun, Szechter, Themes, Törnqvist, Uskov, Walker, G. Wang, Wietfeldt, Wyland, Zhang

  1. Promotedandre-appointedfacultymemberswereintroducedbytheir department chairs. These are as follows.
  • Promoted to Professor – Hank Bart (EEB), Ricardo Cortez (MATH)
  • Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure – Nancye Dawers (EES), Zhiqiang Mao (PHYS), Fred Wietfeldt (PHYS)
  • Reappointed – Alex Burin (CHEM), Jeff Chambers (EEB), David Corey (PSYCH), W Godbey (CBE), Lev Kaplan (PHYS), Michelle Lacey (MATH)
  1. The department chairs also introduced newly appointed members of the faculty. Here is a complete list by department.

  • Biomedical Engineering 
    • Michael Moore, Assistant Professor
    • Lee Murfee, Assistant Professor
    • San Aung, Professor of Practice (w/CBE)
    • Annette Oertling, Professor of Practice
    • Courtney Lopreore, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Cell & Molecular Biology
    • Nandini Vasudevan, Assistant Professor, Spring 09
    • Robert Dotson, Professor of Practice
    • Nancy Hopkins, Professor of Practice
    • Shi Di, Research Assistant Professor
  •  Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
    • John Prindle, Professor of Practice
  • Chemistry
    • Janan Jayawickramarajah, Assistant Professor
    • Howard Mielke, Research Professor (w/CBR)
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
    • Karen Johannesson, Associate Professor
    • Nicole Gasparini, Assistant Professor, Spring 08
    • Brad Rosenheim, Assistant Professor, Spring 08
    • Sadredin Moosavi, Professor of Practice o Gerhard Piringer, Professor of Practice
    • Richard Campanella, Research Assistant Professor (w/CBR)
  • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    • Michael Blum, Assistant Professor
    • John Caruso, Professor of Practice
    • Michael Guill, Research Assistant Professor
    • Archie Ammons, Visiting Assistant Professor
    • Bryan Sigal, Visiting Assistant Professor
    • H. George Wang, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Mathematics
    • Gustavo Didier, Assistant Professor
    • T. Amdeberham, Professor of Practice, Spring 08
    • John Armstrong, Visiting Assistant Professor
    • Gergly Bana, Visiting Assistant Professor
    • Steven Sinnott, Visiting Assistant Professor
    • Xinyu Sun, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Physics
    • Tim Schuler, Professor of Practice
    • Alex Laptev, Research Assistant Professor
    • Dmitry Uskov, Research Assistant Professor
  • Psychology
    • Lisa Molix, Assistant Professor
    • Osman Aricak, Visiting Assistant Professor
    • Bethany Rollins, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Other
    • Tom Bishop, Research Associate Professor, CCS
    • VJ Gopu, Research Professor, CBR (w/CBE)
    • Beth Wee, Professor of Practice, NEURO
    • COL Lee Collins, Air Force ROTC
    • LTC Willie Themes, Army ROTC
    • CDR Brett Schexnider, Naval ROTC

  1. Dean’sremarks.

School update. The SSE Strategic Plan was enthusiastically received by the Tulane Board of Administrators. The Plan will now be implemented although it is not certain at what pace.

Student recruiting. Confirmed Undergraduates: 1,335 first time freshmen, 208 transfer students. (The renewal budget was premised on 1,200 freshmen so the goal this year was exceeded). SSE targets 30% of this enrollment, but approximately 35% of declared freshmen enrolled in SSE degree programs.

Faculty recruiting. 20 SSE faculty were lost after Katrina, including some to retirement. Since Katrina, 11 tenure track or tenured faculty have been hired, as well as 17 professors of practice and 9 research professors. There are 11 ongoing searches. It is anticipated that there will be as many as 18 total searches in the upcoming year.

Staffing Needs. There were too many staff cuts Post-Katrina. The Dean has called for a staff hiring plan in addition to a faculty hiring plan to help solve this problem.

Space. Many moves have been made since last Spring. The biggest challenge to the strategic plan is suitable space.

Publications and Events. An SSE semi-annual publication will be produced; Fall and Spring. It strives for broad appeal to alumni, faculty, students, and friends. It will have pictures, be glossy, go light on dry facts, etc. There are several upcoming homecoming events and investitures.

Elections. The Dean reviewed AY 2007-08 committee assignments and said that we must now conduct elections for a Parliamentarian, 3 members to the Promotion and Tenure Committee, 2 members to the University Senate, and one member to the Graduate Council. The list of eligible voting faculty is attached.

  1. President Cowen’s remarks.

Michael Bernstein was introduced as the new Provost. His fields are Economics and History.

Fiscal 2007 was much better than envisioned, and some important indicators are the following:

  • Two key senior hires were made; Michael Bernstein as Provost, and Ben Sacks as senior VP and Dean of the Medical School.
  • Faculty recruiting was very successful, and top rate faculty were hired from all over.
  • Research awards rose to a record $157M. SSE is a major player.
  • Rebound in students, up from 882 in 2006. Total undergraduate population is still 3% smaller than last year and just shy of 5100. 5600 is the steady state target.
  • This was a great fundraising year, second best on record. Virtually all of it goes to students, faculty, buildings, and new programs. The $1B endowment goal reached 14 months ahead of schedule, and has not eroded below $1B despite recent Market turmoil.

There are four challenges as we go forward.

  • Overcoming the negative perception of N.O. is a constant uphill battle. Tulane will continue focused recruiting, explaining the tremendous strides in recovery made by Tulane and New Orleans.
  • Losses are now over $600M from property damage, lost revenue, research damage and fine arts damage. $300M are still left to recover. Tulane is still trying to recover from two insurance companies and FEMA.
  • Continuing the renewal plan introduced in 2005 presents challenges. Academic priorities involve implementation of the renewal plan, targeting the enrollment increases by 2010, studying the faculty composition, and benchmarking faculty salaries vis à vis peer institutions. The Medical School is the most remarkable
story. It lost $50M-$60M in 2006. It is now at break-even fiscally, and recruited a record entering class.

Leadership. There are searches on for the new Dean of Architecture and the School of Liberal Arts. There is also a search for a Chief Investment Officer.

Fundraising: Before Katrina, Tulane was in the midst of a $700M campaign. It should finish in June 2008 ahead of goal, and is already at $660M.

Capital projects. Fogelman will be reconfigured to be the Yeoman Event Center for convocations, graduations, concerts, etc. Richard Yeoman gave the major gift for this.

Financial. The budget will continue in deficit through 2010. There are four problems, three of them ‘self-correcting’.

i)    Tulane needs to rebuild the student population up to the steady state.

ii)    There are still $100M of Katrina related debt to retire.

iii)    There are still many one-time costs related to Katrina, e.g. consultants to determine lab losses.

iv)    It is now more expensive to do business in N.O. than before, 300% more in insurance for almost no coverage, and utilities are up 100%. These costs won’t go away. There is a roadmap to meet all these challenges.

Turning to SSE, President Cowen related that the SSE strategic plan was well received by the Board. The Board is now deciding on how to implement the strategic plan over time. They find the plan to have an exciting vision, and a solid strategy that will position Tulane in a unique way.

Questions asked.

What about Staff? There are over four hundred open staff position  currently. These positions are already built into the budget.

Grad program reviews? Provost Bernstein responded to this: The goal is to set up a methodology to evaluate all doctoral programs, including those that are suspended and those that are active. A firm has been retained to evaluate how our programs stack up with those of peer institutions. There is an emphasis on where our Ph.D. graduates are going after grad school, not only to what universities and colleges they go for academic employment, but also to what non-profit foundations and private sector positions. There is also an ongoing evaluation of where different disciplines are heading, and what areas is it best to train doctoral students in.

Any chance to get funds to replace equipment damaged by Katrina? These are the hardest dollars to get back. Tulane is going to insurance companies for this, but its hard. $100M debt portion of the deficit should be obtainable, but is a question of time, and much of it comes from FEMA.

New buildings? New buildings for SSE are on the radar screen, and will be part of this year’s planning process. An integrative science complex is being considered. Residential housing is also now coming to the fore. Overall, some buildings need significant renovation.

What about interdisciplinarity in the plans? The future of Tulane is in centers, institutes, and programs. There will be interdepartmental and inter-institute searches. Barriers between divisions and departments will be broken down. There will be encouragement for different departments and disciplines to share space. There will be much experimenting for models.

Professor of practice; Once hired, and if they perform well and the position remains, individuals cannot be replaced by others for the same position? This will depend on schools and departments, and how priorities change with time and planning.

  1. StrategicPlan,DeanAltiero

Will hold a separate meeting for this. See attached PowerPoint presentation.

The Dean had praise for current SSE figures in undergraduate and Ph.D. enrollment, and funded research

The Meeting adjourned at 5:15pm

Submitted by Wayne F. Reed, SSE Secretary.

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764