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Hurricane Katrina—Our Continuing Response

September 6, 2005

As the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina become more apparent with each day, many at the University have focused on how they can help the storm's survivors and academic institutions along the Gulf Coast. This tragedy continues to unfold, but I am heartened by the warm and caring response from so many in our campus community.

Most of our schools and other divisions have taken concrete steps to determine how they can support University students whose families have felt the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. Several are accommodating students from Gulf Coast colleges whose plans have been entirely disrupted this fall. While individual circumstances will vary, it is our expectation that the students we accommodate will return to their home institutions when those schools reopen.

Let me highlight some of those divisional responses along with relief efforts now beginning:

  • The College ( has received and responded to inquiries from more than 30 displaced undergraduate students and is pursuing a number of initiatives including teach-ins, fundraising activities, prayer services, and support for displaced students and University students who have been affected. Undergraduate students in the arts, sciences, and engineering who are displaced from other institutions should contact Jonathan Burdick, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid (585-275-6805, Displaced graduate students should contact Paul Slattery, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies (585-275-6955,
  • The Eastman School ( has taken three students, two from Loyola University New Orleans and one from the University of New Orleans. The School is working to help place members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in positions with other performance organizations.
  • The Warner School( is developing plans to provide temporary enrollment and assistance to as many as 30 graduate students in education and human development, along with other measures.
  • At the Simon School (, Dean Mark Zupan has sent an e-mail to all alumni and current students in the affected areas expressing concern and offering to assist in any way. Dean Zupan has also contacted Dean Angelo DeNisi at Tulane's A. B. Freeman School of Business and offered to be of assistance; the Simon School is considering taking up to 20 Freeman students.
  • At the Medical Center (, the School of Medicine and Dentistry has told the Association of American Medical Colleges that Rochester is willing to accept medical students, residents, and graduate students.
  • The School of Nursing is taking a multi-pronged approach ( both to allow faculty to assist at the site of the disaster and to accommodate a number of displaced nursing students, among other measures.
  • Faculty and staff at Strong Memorial have offered through the American Hospital Association to make medical/surgical beds available as needed for patients who must be transferred out of the disaster area. The hospital is on stand-by concerning a request to make available a team of health professionals for a two-week period to staff field hospitals along the periphery of the disaster area.

As we keep Katrina's victims in our thoughts, we will move forward on these and other actions to help alleviate the terrible conditions in Louisiana and neighboring states.