Equal Justice Under Law
Background  Case Calendar  More Options
Tolerance begins at home and is best taught by example.  All else is hypocrisy.

Damage Control, Tulane Style

The years 1993 to 1995 witnessed an assault on five Jewish professors by administrators at Tulane University.  Three of the professors brought lawsuits against Tulane, one settled after threatening to sue, and one withdrew into early retirement.  In Bernofsky's case, Tulane's proffered reason for his termination was the lack of grant funds to support his research program.  However, Bernofsky argued that his new $250,000 grant from the Air Force, which was announced 10 weeks before his termination and given front-page treatment in a Tulane publication [1], rendered Tulane's reason for his termination mere pretext, and he filed a discrimination claim against the University.

Bernofsky was denied a trial on the merits of his case through the rulings of partisan judges who, unknown to Bernofsky at the time, were teaching at Tulane as adjunct professors.  Details of this pretentious form of justice are described elsewhere on this Web site.  Nevertheless, publicity about the case, and in particular the allegation of anti-Semitism, spurred Tulane University to undertake measures to improve its public image while vigorously avoiding responsibility for its past actions.

Tulane has good cause for concern.  According to a 1999 survey published by Hillel Foundation, about 22% of Tulane's total student enrollment is Jewish, a figure that represents 30% of the undergraduate student population [2].  In contrast, the proportion of Jewish professors is very small, although actual figures have not been made public and Hillel would not respond when contacted for this information.

In the lawsuit filed against Tulane University on January 31, 1995, Bernofsky identified the issue of discrimination as a primary cause of action.  Listed below are some of the extraordinary public relations events intended to reassure the Jewish community in the wake of that allegation.

What is remarkable about these events is their proximity to Bernofsky's claims of discrimination in legal proceedings and their public relations focus on the Jewish community.  Tulane's sudden display of interest in combating anti-Semitism appears to be an attempt to conceal bigoted core values held over from a bygone era. It may be viewed as a disingenuous and financially-motivated effort to reassure the burgeoning population of Jewish students at Tulane and to prevent the alienation of Jewish philanthropists who traditionally give generously to institutions of higher learning, and to Tulane in particular.

Tulane apparently believes that present "good deeds" will immunize it against responsibility for past offenses.  However, such "damage control" is only an attempt to conceal, through embroidery, the underlying fabric of bigotry that has characterized the University's administration.  No public relations campaign can paper over the discrimination and abuse visited by Tulane on so many of its Jewish professors, nor is there a statute of limitations that will grant Tulane the reprieve it seeks from its own history of systemic intolerance.

Readers who are familiar with ways that institutions respond to public exposure of unethical and immoral practices will not be surprised to learn that Tulane has now created "...a place where faculty, students, visiting scholars, and public figures can broadly examine critical issues of right and wrong, justice and injustice, citizenship and community, the ethical management of organizations, and the ethics of the professions."  That place, whose apparent function is to mask Tulane's culpability, is The Center for Ethics and Public Affairs [18].

Since this Web site went on line in 1998, Tulane administrators have catered to the Jewish community wih special programs and appointments, and by 2012 a remarkable 32% of its student body were Jews, ranking Tulane No. 1 in this category among secular universities with more that 5,000 students [19].

  1. "Radical Research," Monitor: Tulane University Medical Center News, Vol. 2, No. 7, March, 1995, p. 1.

  2. "School Profiles," taken March, 1999 from the Hillel Web site, www.hillel.org.

  3. The Times Picayune, April 20, 1998, p. B-1.

  4. "The Southern Institute for Education and Research," taken April, 1998 from the Tulane Web site, www.tulane.edu.

  5. Littice Bacon-Blood, "Tulane: School picks 14th president," The Times Picayune, New Orleans, Dec. 5, 1997, p. A-1.

  6. The Times Picayune, Oct. 23, 1998, p. B-8.

  7. Gambit Weekly, Oct. 27, 1998, p. 13.

  8. "Online Posting," Office of Public Relations, Tulane University Medical Center, June 10, 1998, from the Tulane Web site, www.tmc.tulane.edu.

  9. The Times Picayune, Oct. 8, 1999, p. E-2.

  10. The Times Picayune, Sept. 23, 1998, p. E-1.

  11. The Times Picayune, Sept. 18, 1999, p. A-17.

  12. The Tulane Hullabaloo, Vol. 90, No. 6, Oct. 8, 1999.

  13. "Tulane University School of Engineering, Board of Advisors," http://www.eng.tulane.edu/pdf/boardofadvisors.pdf, accessed Sept. 25, 2003.

  14. Ana Gershanik, "Tulane looks at Jews in Southern Americas," The Times Picayune, New Orleans, Apr. 6, 2000, p. 4A-1.

  15. Lauren DeFrank, "Diversity study highlights racial disparities at Tulane," Tulane Hullabaloo, Vol. 94, No. 4, Sept. 19, 2003.

  16. "Awards go to 3 for roles in battle against bigotry," The Times Picayune, New Orleans, Nov. 25, 2001, p. B-3.

  17. Nell Nolan, "Giving their all for education," The Times Picayune, New Orleans, Dec. 10, 2001, p. C-2.

  18. The Center for Ethics and Public Affairs, http://www.tulane.edu/~murphy/Center%20Introduction.htm, accessed Sept. 26, 2002.

  19. Bruce Nolan, "Tulane to upgrade its Jewish studies program; Faculty to be added to department," The Times Picayune, New Orleans, March 31, 2012, p. C-6.
Help Balance the Scales of Justice!
Help Balance the Scales of Justice!

Web site created November, 1998     This section last modified March, 2012
|  Home Page  |  Site Map  |  About Bernofsky  |  Curriculum Vitae  |  Lawsuits  |  Case Calendar  |

|  Judicial Misconduct  |  Judicial Reform  |  Contact  |  Disclaimer  |
This Web site is not associated with Tulane University or its affiliates

© 1998-2014 Carl Bernofsky - All rights reserved
Send me an e-mail