Statement by John E. Koerner III, Chair, Tulane Board
June 10, 2003
The Board of Tulane today affirmed its commitment to the continuation of Division I-A intercollegiate athletics at Tulane University.
At our meeting today, the board and the administration endorsed a multi-year Athletics Department plan.
Tulane has in place a Division I-A program that is exemplary among intercollegiate athletics programs throughout the country. Our competency in the classroom, together with our competitiveness on the playing field, makes us a model to which the Board feels other Division I-A programs should aspire.
The plan approved by the board has four main components. Let me outline them for you.
1. Tulane will continually attempt to change the existing culture and operations of Division 1 intercollegiate athletics to bring them back in line with the stated purpose of the Division as outlined in Article I of the NCAA constitution, which is To initiate, stimulate and improve intercollegiate athletic programs for student-athletes and to promote and develop educational leadership, physical fitness, athletic excellence and athletics participation as a recreational pursuit.
2. Tulane will proactively engage in conference realignment discussions to ensure the university is best positioned to fulfill its vision for its athletics program and aggressively attempt to alter the BCS arrangement to minimize, if not eliminate, its adverse impact on D1-A intercollegiate athletics.
3. Tulane will join with other schools to request that the NCAA adopt policies and procedures that support higher academic standards and lower the costs of Division 1-A membership.
4. Tulane will enact a financial plan to achieve a set of measurable goals for revenue generation and expense reduction so the program operates on a sustainable basis within an allowable subsidy of $2 million by the end of fiscal year 2007 and yearly thereafter.
The board has concluded that Tulane will continue to maintain a Division 1-A athletics program as long as it is financially viable and consistent with the university's mission, aspirations and resources.
One of the gratifying results of this process was the opportunity to witness the great devotion to Tulane athletics that exists among the university community, the New Orleans public and Tulane alumni and friends.
Now as we move forward, the individuals who have been so passionate in their support of the University's athletics program will need to find ways to transform that energy into permanent financial support.
In our resolution today, the Board calls for the formation of an external advisory board, comprised of officers of the Tulane Alumni Association and its Alumni Clubs, local and state political leaders and leaders of the New Orleans business community.
We will ask this group to advise us and participate in translating the passion and dedication expressed by Tulane's alumni, friends and the community at large into tangible support that assures the program's financial viability.
In closing, I want to congratulate and thank the members of the Board and the Ad Hoc Committee for the fine job they have done in working this very difficult but rewarding process through to its conclusion. The fact that we entered into this type of discussion is a bold statement about the institutional priorities of Tulane University and the visionary and determined leadership of President Scott Cowen.