Shelby Thames believed that USM was not an institution run by a combination of faculty governance and administrative cooperation, but rather an autocracy. Therefore he fired 2 tenured professors for no reason whatsoever.
Scott Cowen proposed a bold renewal plan for Tulane University, which included the elimination of Newcomb College, the first degree granting college for women in the United States and Louisiana, as well as the elimination of the School of Engineering, which produced such people as the founder of Yahoo and the inventor of the Wood Screw Pump, which keeps New Orleans dry when the incompetently built levees are in place.
He also fired over a hundred MDs from the med school. All of this has made the faculty exodus palpable...like a green wave you could surf.
Now, he has been proposed as a president for Case Western Reserve University, from whence he came, and even Harvard, which, he may not know, has a low threshold for twit-like behavior from administrators. The quicker he leaves, the better off all of New Orleans will be, especially Tulane, and even Lusher. He couldn’t be happy destroying Tulane, he had to impose his rich-boy mentality on the entire New Orleans school district.
Now, we have Loyola University of New Orleans, and their president, Kevin Wildes, has proposed eliminating the programs in Broadcasting and Film, Computer Science and Elementary Education, and suspending the Masters programs in Music Ed, Music Performance, and Music Therapy.
There is no correct strategic reason, and the fact that Tulane is eliminating CS would lead one to believe that Loyola’s CS program could not help but grow as a result.
Also, the broadcasting program is one of the best in the country, and they are nationally renown for their music school.
All 3 of these university presidents have stepped out of line. The purpose of a university president is to provide a pretty face for parents, alumni and prospective donors, and to suck as much money out of the latter 2 groups as is humanly (or whatever they are) possible. That’s it.
Wildes and Cowen have used Katrina and the resulting man-made disaster and the resulting financial exigency as excuses to impose their will on their universities, and have repeatedly stated that these changes were for the strategic goals of their universities, while steadfastly refusing to proffer any numbers that would either confirm or deny their conclusions.
Something smells really fishy, and it ain’t that seafood warehouse after Katrina.