SSE Faculty Meeting Minutes

212 Lavin Bernick Center
October 2, 2013
4:00 PM

Present: Agnew, Ahsan, Altiero, Ashbaugh, Aung, Baker, Boudaba, Brown, Caruso, Chen, Chrisey, Corey, Cronin, Dancisak, Daniel, Dawers, Di, Dohanich, Escarra, Fauci, Gasparini, Gaver, Gilbertson, Godbey, Gromenko, Hall, Hebert, Henry, Herman, Horwitz, Hyman, Kalka, Khismatullin, Koplitz, Lacey, Mao, Marom, McPherson, Mettu, Mitchell, Mock, Moll, Moore, Mullin, Nelson, Norton, O’Brien, O’Connor, Overstreet, Parrish, Patterson, Pesika, Pratt, Robinson, Ruscher, Schrader, Schuler, Shakov, Straub, Talbayev, Tasker, Taylor, Thien, Tornqvist, Van Bael, Varela, Vasudevan, S. Wang, Wee, Wenk, Wietfeldt, Wu, Wyland, Zhang, Zhao

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meetings of 8 May 2013 were approved unanimously.

Approval of Voting Faculty

The list of voting faculty for 2013-14 was unanimously approved.

Recognition of New and Promoted Faculty

Dean Altiero announced the following promotions: Lev Kaplan (Physics and Engineering Physics) to the rank of Professor, Igor Rubtsov (Chemistry) to the rank of Professor, Gustavo Didier (Mathematics) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, Lisa Molix (Psychology) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, Michael Moore (Biomedical Engineering) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, and Janan Jayawickramarajah (Chemistry) to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. The following faculty members have been promoted to the rank of Senior Professor of the Practice: San Aung (Biomedical Engineering), John Caruso (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Robert Dotson (Cell and Molecular Biology), Nancy Hopkins (Cell and Molecular Biology), Tim Schuler (Physics and Engineering Physics), and Beth Wee (Psychology/Neuroscience).

The Department Chairs then introduced new faculty hires for Fall 2012. They are Mead Allison, Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences; Oleksandr Gromenko, Assistant Professor in Mathematics; Matthew Escarra, Assistant Professor in Physics and Engineering Physics; Noa Marom, Assistant Professor in Physics and Engineering Physics; and Zhuoru Wu, Research Assistant Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology. Visiting Professor Michael Hoerger (Psychology) was also introduced.

President Scott Cowen

President Cowen addressed the faculty on the changing landscape of higher education and the impact he believes this will have on Tulane. He said that the formidable challenges faced by higher education today have to do with affordability, accessibility, accountability, and the fact that expenses are growing faster than revenues. As Tulane plans for the future, it must focus on transformative approaches and the faculty will be the primary source of new ideas. He believes that factors working in Tulane’s favor are that it has a strong name brand and a distinctive program involving community engagement, is currently in good financial shape, and has a strong culture of change forged by its Hurricane Katrina experience. A lively question and answer period followed during which the president addressed questions such as what are other universities doing to address these challenge, will research continue to be a high priority in a transformed university, what will be the impact of the current presidential search, and what will be the impact of current changes involving the university hospital. There were also many suggestions for increasing revenue and potential institutional efficiencies.

Strategic Planning

Dean Altiero lead a discussion on the School’s strategic planning process and the impact of the issues to which President Cowen had alluded. He said that the timetable for completion of the plan has been extended but that the faculty should anticipate a new draft soon. He emphasized that faculty input is extremely important to insure a strong plan and faculty buy-in. The SSE Board of Advisors will be meeting on October 4 and, once their input and the input of the SSE Executive Committee have been incorporated into the plan, the new draft will be sent to the faculty for comment. The dean then fielded questions about the strategic plan and a myriad of other issues including problems associated with implementation of the new human resource management software.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

There was no new business.


The meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM.

Minutes by Nicholas Altiero.

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