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Tulane Honors Program

Friday, February 24, 2006

the blue couch

For those students of mine who wonder what life was like back in the day, I present the blue couch. One of my old roommates posted this blog as an homage to the couch that my grandmother gave us for dorm room use. The last word I have is that the couch is still alive (really! think of all those bacteria) and being used by a fire eater and his wife. No, really. That is what they told me.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What Sets Tulane Honors Apart

I have been asked many times what sets our program apart from others so I thought a blog on the topic might be appropriate.

Our Honors Program at Tulane is (as I like to say) an “Enhanced Educational Experience”, or E3. (Catchy, don’t you think? ;-) At Tulane your fellow classmates, regardless of Honors status, are all very successful academically so we do not separate and segregate our Honors students. Instead our program is directed at enhancing the already excellent education experience you will have at Tulane. There are three primary ways we offer you the opportunity to expand your curriculum.

1) Honors Courses – each semester there are 40-60 different courses across the disciplines and levels that are offered as Honors courses. This means that no more than 20 students will be in the class and our best regular faculty teach the course.

2) Honors Option – The Honors Option allows you to customize your Honors curriculum. H courses (above) may not fit into your schedule and, especially at the higher level, you may not find an H course in your discipline. With Honors option you can add an honors component to any upper level course.

3) Independent Studies – If there is a topic of interest to you but no course is available you and there is a faculty member willing to guide your research you may enroll for an Independent Study at the 400 level.

With the new structure of Tulane University all undergraduates in any school will be able to participate in the Honors program. So join us and go as far as you like, customizing your own Honors curriculum!

NPR : A Taste of Mardi Gras: The Return of the King Cake

One of the best things about Mardi Gras! Hmmm. King Cake.

Butler House - Honors Housing

[Some of my comments over the next few weeks about general topics such as housing will be for prospective students as well as intended to elicit comment from current students.]

One option available to incoming Honors freshmen is the Honors dorm: Butler Hall. This dorm houses ~256 students on 7 residential floors. The main lounge is the site of most of our round table discussions and includes a new (soon to be delivered!) pool table and ping pong table. The dorm has recently been pressured washed on the outside and the interior is gradually being all repainted. Other renovations are scheduled as well.

Why an Honors dorm? Butler forms a fairly unique community of diverse yet like-minded students; like-minded in that they all recognize the importance of learning. This does not distract from their creativity and fun. At least, that has been my experience in the last two years. There are set quiet hours and perhaps a greater sense of respect for each other in Butler.

Butler may not be for everyone, in fact it cannot be. We admit far more H students than Butler can house. This brings me to the most important point for prospective students: If you want to live in Butler you must request it and it is on a "first come, first serve basis."

All that being said, for current and past Butler-ites: Please tell me (and others who might read this), what were the best and worst things about Butler? If you could improve two things, what would they be?

And don't forget! You can get your Chez Butler t-shirt here.

Thanks for reading and please do comment!

Tulane Graduate Programs & Redeployment of Workers

A couple of important news bits.

Under Renewal Plan Tulane graduate studies more focused and interdisciplinary

Tulane working to redeploy separated staff to available positions within university

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Chronicle: Harvard President Resigns

From the Chronicle: Daily news: 02/21/2006 -- 06
resigned this afternoon and will be replaced, on an interim
basis, by Derek C. Bok, who was president of Harvard from 1970
to 1990. Mr. Bok would be expected to "clean up the mess and
make conditions right for the next president," according to a
senior professor with knowledge of the tumultuous events of
today in Cambridge, Mass.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Out of the Ashes - Pompeii & Katrina

My colleague Susann Lusnia's course on Pompeii has made the Tulane news.
Pompeii. Herculaneum. New Orleans. Natural disasters that destroy part or all of a city are nothing new, says classical studies assistant professor Susann Lusnia. The spring course she teaches at Tulane about Pompeii, before and after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, has allowed students to discuss parallels between New Orleans, Pompeii and Herculaneum, a second city devastated by the eruption.

Dr. Lusnia has also included an Honors Option with this course. Thanks Dr. Lusnia!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In A Model Environment: Vindication!

A former Tulane Honors student who is a Marshall scholar in Oxford has found inspiration in Indiana Jones.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Congratulations! (and a typo)

Congratulations to all those students who have just received their acceptance to Tulane and the Honors Program for Fall 2006! I realize that you will have many questions (and maybe some concerns) so I hope you will look around and feel free to email me (or IM).

Now, I also have to confess that there was an egregious typo on the letter that went out.

Now, I could tell you that it was the Admissions office that sent this letter out (which is true) or even that the printer was the one who made the mistake (which is also true, the copy from my office and Admissions is correct), but we should have spotted it. I hope that you will not hold this against us! After all, it is a person of true honor who acknowledges their mistake. :-)

Can the Green Wave Rise Again?

This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education looks into the suspension of 8 of our teams. It will be available until Feb. 15th (or by subscription).
Rick Dickson thought he had seen the worst last summer after Hurricane Katrina caused $3.5-million in damage to Tulane University's athletics facilities and forced its teams to relocate to four different colleges.

But nothing prepared Mr. Dickson, Tulane's athletics director, for December 5, the day he learned that Tulane's trustees had suspended eight of the university's sports teams as part of a $60-million universitywide cutback. After hearing the news, Mr. Dickson says, he put his head on his desk and started to cry.

This is, without a doubt, difficult for everyone.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Santorum's Comments on Congressional Spending on Universities

In this article Santorum "Says Congressional Republicans Are 'Restrained' in Treatment of Colleges, Despite Left-Wing Bias." (That link is subscription only. It will be available here until Feb 13th.)

A few snippets:

Despite believing that colleges are dominated by left-wing academics who are hostile to conservatives, the Republican leaders of Congress have been "remarkably restrained" in taking higher education to task, Sen. Rick Santorum told private-college presidents and lobbyists on Tuesday.

"There's no question," said Mr. Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, " that the majority of Republicans believe higher education is on the left. There's no question about that. We do, and it is."

"Having said that," he added, "we also understand the importance of higher education to the future of the country."

Mr. Santorum did not focus his speech at the annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on ideological debates. Instead he spoke about legislative measures he has championed that would make it easier for colleges and other nonprofit groups to solicit donations.


Saying that he recognized colleges as "the platform on which we have to build the country's global competitiveness," Mr. Santorum touted his efforts to give people more incentives to make charitable contributions to colleges.

Over the last several years, Senator Santorum and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, have pushed a proposal to stimulate charitable giving by allowing older people to withdraw money from their individual retirement accounts and donate those funds to colleges and other nonprofit groups tax-free. The senators have also called on Congress to pass legislation that would help those institutions to solicit small gifts from recent graduates. Under that plan, people who did not itemize deductions on their tax returns would still be allowed to deduct charitable donations from their taxable income.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Scheiber's Comments on the SOTU

This gives me a chance to point you all to our last Rhodes Scholar, Noam Scheiber, who is a Senior Editor of The New Republic.

Frame of Mind
by Noam Scheiber

(Subscription Required)

UPDATE: We are proud to announce that Mr. Scheiber will be coming to campus this spring to be our keynote speaker for our Honors Week (March 27-31)! Welcome back!

Good news! The pool table is on its way!

And this is not just for Butlerites! The tables for other dorms are on their way as well. From the head cheese (as opposed to cheese head or headcheese):

Yes…at last…pool tables are in progress – officially. Please see attached photo – pretty slick, I think…

These are scheduled to arrive between 2/13 and 2/28 – let’s all send good thoughts their way for earlier!