Carl Bernofsky, Ph.D.
6478 General Diaz Street
New Orleans, LA 70124
March 7, 2004
Hon. Emile "Peppi" Bruneau
145 Robert E. Lee Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70124
Re: Tulane University
Dear Mr. Bruneau:
Thank you for your thoughtful letter of March 4, 2004. The cost to the state for reconstituting
Tulane as a public entity can, in part, be resolved by increasing the tuition on all out-of-state students,
although not to the level now charged by Tulane. Tulane has an out-of-state enrollment of about 85%;
LSU has far less.
The state now subsidizes Tulane with salaries for professors, research grants, and contracts for
medical services. That need not change. The difference is that subsidies would now be used solely for
state-oriented purposes rather than to help support the out-of-state activities in which Tulane is now
engaged. Salaries of LSU professors could be raised and salaries of their colleagues on the Tulane
campus lowered, where necessary, to make them more equitable.
Tulane facilities used primarily for non-academic functions need not be sold but reorganized as
a separate business. While Tulane has taken pains to link its business and academic functions with as
many threads as possible, in the final analysis these are links that are readily severed. Tulane's
commercial properties could continue to be managed by Tulane Corporation or a similar entity.
Then, there is the matter of the approximately $650 million in endowment that the state could
use to implement the restructuring process.
Another consideration is that of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am told that, in the 1970's,
competitiveness between the LSU and Tulane medical faculties contributed to the loss of that important
designation. Although there is much more cooperation between LSU and Tulane nowadays, the true
melding of their resources would greatly improve the chances of bringing a Comprehensive Cancer
Center to New Orleans and with it a greatly increased potential for federal funding for medical
research and patient care.
This hasty discussion is not intended to be exhaustive, but it does point to the financial
feasibility of the reconstitution plan. Riding on the coattails of its educational function, Tulane
presently pays no taxes on its commercial activities, a situation that only encourages an increasingly
business-minded administration. That arrangement needs to end, for when academics becomes a servant
to commerce, the purpose of the academy to the state is subverted.
s/ Carl Bernofsky