Today the Times-Picayune gave their Loving Cup award to Scott Cowen. I'll grant that Cowen has done some good things with the Cowen Institute and New Orleans Public Schools and keeping the doors open at Tulane, one of the largest private employers in the city.
But, even the article mentions the shuttering of engineering at Newcomb. There's no getting around the fact that in the aftermath of the the Federal Flood, the largest engineering disaster in US history, Cowen axed the programs that could have made the most difference. In his own words, "If they don't fix the levees, everything we've done [with the Renewal Plan] is for naught."* What are we going to do Dr. Cowen? Sue our way to Category 5 Levees?
In early 2006, there was a huge student protest on campus. Hundreds (thousand plus?) of students marched around the administration building. They demanded Cowen's resignation over the Newcomb and engineering cuts. Not a single news organization covered it. I'm posting a couple of photos to prove that it did indeed exist.
* Citation coming.
"Football players build great levees"**
** Tulane's football program, despite as favorable accounting as they can possibly manage, runs a deficit of at least $2 million a year. It was not effected by the "Renewal Plan."
UPDATE 2- From Tulane's last E-Week battlebot competition:
"Cowen Bot: Destroying that which others have worked so hard to build"