Tulane Today staff
President Mike Fitts wrote in a message to university administrators yesterday:
Please join me in expressing heartfelt gratitude and warm wishes to our colleague and friend Rick Matasar, senior vice president for strategic initiatives and institutional effectiveness, who has announced his plans to retire from the university at the end of the year.
I’ve known Rick throughout our careers in higher education and have long valued his extraordinary vision, dedication and leadership. He was the first person I asked to join my team here at Tulane when I needed a chief strategy officer to develop new programing for the university and reimagine how we can best meet the educational demands of the digital age.
Over the last five years, Rick has been instrumental in significantly expanding our online education initiatives. He oversaw eight new graduate degree programs to fill critical needs for more social workers, health care professionals, and other vital professions that not only provide important services, but also enhance the growth and security of our economy. There are also four more online graduate programs in the planning stages, thanks to Rick, who has also developed partnerships to considerably increase Tulane’s enrollment of international students in our graduate programs.
If you’ve noticed more elementary and high school students on campus in the summers, you have witnessed the success of some of Rick’s work. In his time here, he has consolidated our educational offerings and services for summer students and increased enrollments in summer enrichment programs and for-credit courses for K-12 students by more than 500 percent.
One of Rick’s most visible impacts for many within Tulane may be his work in how we all experience and promote the Tulane brand. He reorganized the university’s marketing and communications team to expand outreach to internal and external audiences. This included launching Tulane Today, a revamped Tulanian magazine, a redesigned website, and expanded public relations and media outreach. Rick also spearheaded the university’s new branding campaign, which will be fully implemented in the months ahead.
While Rick’s retirement will be a loss to Tulane, I am delighted that he has this opportunity to begin a new and exciting chapter of his life here in New Orleans where he has family, as well as music and a culture he adores. He has also kindly agreed to serve, after his retirement, as senior consultant to me on continuing strategic initiatives for the university.