mr. delagar was up the hill yesterday, where his dissertation director told him Tulane had cut its English graduate program in the wake of Katrina. "The whole thing?" I said. "It fired all the grad students?"
I couldn't believe it, so I went online to have a look.
It's worse than that -- Tulane has cut all its graduate programs:
Five undergraduate majors have been eliminated, all in science and engineering, and many other programs have been consolidated. The graduate school has been shut down.
The medical school faculty is being reduced by 180 positions, to 345, largely because only two hospitals are operating in New Orleans.
Over all, Tulane is reducing its full-time faculty and staff to 4,000, from 4,700. The cutbacks include job losses for 26 tenured professors whose programs are being dropped.
Other news is worse:
The facts on the ground are sobering. Power and other utilities have not been restored in many places. The city government has laid off much of its work force, and nearly all the public schools remain closed. On Thursday, Tulane University, the city's largest employer, announced major budget cuts.
It is unclear when the levees will be repaired, and it will probably take years and tens of billions of dollars to fortify them. Without assurances about the levees, many exiles do not want to move back. The longer the uncertainty lasts, the more likely it is that they will put down roots elsewhere.
More than 75 percent of the city's population of 460,000 is gone, by some estimates, and it would appear to make little sense to spend enormous sums revitalizing areas if they are to be sparsely populated.
I knew things were bad in the city -- I've been gathering that from the bits I hear from my family -- but this is really depressing.
4 hours ago