This is old news to some extent. I’ve been paying attention to it for awhile, but for some reason, it didn’t occur to me to blog about it until today.
My alma mater, claiming financial devastation following Hurricane Katrina, is essentially closing the doors of its School of Engineering, from which I graduated. You can read more about the Tulane Renewal plan here, but the gist is that they’re cutting faculty, combining the Tulane and Newcomb liberal arts colleges (which will piss off many Newcomb-ites, I’m sure, as the women’s college has its own history), and eliminating the School of Engineering. The Biomed and Chem Eng programs will remain, but they’ll become part of the liberal arts college. The other engineering programs are eliminated. This sucks to me on a number of levels.
First, they’re maintaining the crap-ass athletic programs that suck money from the college every year. Second, the president is refusing to give any solid financial data indicating how or why Engineering was the viable decision to cut, how it will help, etc. Third, the largest donation Tulane ever received was to the School of Engineering, from one David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!. No word on if they blew through those funds, or what will happen to the Yahoo! sponsored Engineering research chair. And having worked in alumni relations for awhile, I know that the majority of donations come from (in order): Newcomb, Engineering, Tulane, Business, Architecture. If you figure in size of school, Engineering is number one in alumni donations. Newcomb beats us out only because there’s more Newcomb-ites to solicit. Anyways, fourth, Tulane filled an Engineering niche in that part of the country. I guess Rice (in TX) will have to step up its engineering program now…and some of it will go to Georgia Tech, I’m sure.
A site mostly populated by current students getting screwed by the proposal has been put up at Save Tulane Engineering . Org. There are some professors posting on there as well, including a couple of my former favorites.
I never bought a Tulane class ring, because I loved my HS ring, and I couldn’t imagine when I’d wear a Tulane ring. Plus, it was expensive and I couldn’t really afford it, nor could I justify the expense in general even if someone else paid for it. I’m wondering now if I should get one…it’ll be a collector’s item someday maybe. :: sigh :: It’s just sad. My high school no longer exists, and now, my college doesn’t really exist either.