Tulane History Department Appears to Be Spared Layoffs

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Tulane University's History Department will apparently not be facing lay-offs, though other departments will. Not until next week will department chairs meet with the acting dean. But James Boyden, chairman of the History Department, told HNN in an email, "my assumption is that the layoffs will not affect the history department directly. And the department's Ph.D. and M.A. programs are among those that will be continued." He added: "Good news for us on that score, but the bad news for many colleagues in the university casts a pall over any feelings of relief we might have."


On Thursday Tulane announced the cuts it is making in the face of $200 million in recovery costs and a projected budget shortfall next year.

The positions of 230 faculty members — 65 of them tenured, and 180 of whom are in the medical school — will be eliminated. Tulane is also cutting its athletic program from 16 teams down to 8. Five academic programs — four in engineering, plus exercise and sport science — will also go.

The professors whose jobs are being eliminated have the option of working at their salaries for one additional year, said Mike Strecker, a Tulane spokesman. But they will not receive additional payments and those who leave immediately will not be paid, he said.

University officials said that 86 percent of Tulane’s students will return to campus in January, and that applications for next academic year are coming in at a normal, pre-Katrina pace. Officials said they do not expect to significantly reduce the size of future undergraduate classes, but that all full-time faculty members will be required to teach undergraduates. Still, some faculty members thought that some of the remaining programs would have to shrink, but that the quality of education will remain, or even improve with the increased teaching for undergraduates from full-time faculty members.

While Tulane officials had few details about how the medical school would operate in the wake of the cuts, they said that it would focus on teaching and that the eliminated positions were research oriented. The medical school will remain in Texas for the spring semester. The medical school is in downtown New Orleans, and a dearth of patients in the area means slim pickings for clinicians. “We have tried to make the reductions as strategically and humanely as possible,” said President Scott S. Cowen in a statement.

The cuts will save Tulane $44 million from its $600 million-plus operating budget.

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Anthony J Radler - 12/13/2005

join the cause!
read about it and then sign the petition