More Than Just a President
My post last night was intended to create intelligent discourse on the possibilities and implications regarding the money issue. I stated very, very clearly that we shouldn’t judge Dr. Cowen or Tulane before we hear their policy and acquire all the answers to our questions. But what did some of you do? You judged them. I was thinking that this negativity would destroy the unity between the students and hurt our support for Tulane, until I realized the truth. About 75% of the comments that responded to the money situation in opposition of Scott Cowen weren’t written by students at all; but by the parents. Many of the comments were belligerent ranting, not intellectual discussion. Threatening Tulane and calling for Scott Cowen’s resignation will solve nothing. Expressing concern and discussing your side of the issue, on the other hand, will result in an equally accommodating response from the university. If you are not a student, you have little basis calling for Scott Cowen’s resignation. Other than this unimaginable experience, what has he done to make you think he is an unworthy president?
Let me first tell you what I know about Scott Cowen. He is truly amazing. He belongs at an Ivy League school; and he considers Tulane no different from one. Have you ever heard him speak? He’s engaging, articulate and straightforward. He understands the needs of the students, and works tirelessly to make Tulane more than a university, but a home. I don’t know of another university who is lucky enough to have such an involved president. He spends much of his own time walking around campus and interacting with the students because their input is important to him. He sincerely cares about his students and is fully committed to the Tulane family. Since I’ve been at Tulane, there have been no protests against him – not from one single group. This is wildly uncommon, as usually university presidents have trouble finding a balance between their academic requirements and the students’ need for a social life. He has improved the university beyond what anyone could have dreamed. The new business school is astounding, and the new school for tropical health will be revolutionary. He made Tulane a leader in the community. For example, when there was lobbying in
Now let’s talk about Scott Cowen’s current situation. Do you actually blame the man? Do you really believe he has intention of screwing over even one person?? The minute people started ranting on my site, Tulane posted two important answers 1- everyone who isn’t enrolled in classes will be credited their tuition and 2- if you don’t head back to Tulane you WILL get your money back. Yes, the situation in regards to state school tuition is going to be difficult. But why couldn’t you wait until they posted that? Why did you have to blame Scott Cowen, as if he personally wants your money? Scott Cowen’s responsibility is to look out for the long-term viability of my university. This is what I pay tuition to have him do. And never would I ever make personal attacks against him for doing his job. He will come up with a plan, and I guarantee it will work for almost every single member of the Tulane community.
If you want to know what Scott Cowen has done, just ask any student. How many people do you know that are so attached to their college that they will wait, in a semester of hell, to order to go back? In 99% of cases, most kids would have transferred after the first day. Not at Tulane. Thousands of people have commented or emailed me directly, saying that they will be waiting for Tulane to come back online. Scott Cowen has not only shaped an institution for higher education, he’s created a community of people who love each other, and are unconditionally devoted to their university.
In conclusion, let me express my disappointment with such negative comments. And students, you need to speak up. I a proud to be part of Tulane’s community, and I would devastated if we were to lose Scott Cowen and his leadership. Tulane would never be same, especially at such a critical and vulnerable time. How could anyone even complain, when the obvious alternative is the collapse of Tulane as we know it?
Over the past years, Scott Cowen has worked hard to give us the experience of a lifetime; he is our leader through this tragedy and deserves everyone’s support and, at the very least, our respect.
Brett HymanPS- This forum is for private use only. No newspapers are entitled to use quotes in their ad, because this is meant for communication between members of the Tulane community only.