Tulane University plans to open its second satellite campus in the state of Mississippi in spring 2010, with first classes by its School of Continuing Studies starting next summer in the city of Madison, located north of Jackson, Miss.
The expansion came after discussions with eight-term Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and city officials who wanted to attract a university to their growing planned community of nearly 30,000 people. The classes could draw from a population of 600,000 living within a half-hour"s drive.
Madison invited Tulane to consider a campus, says Rick Marksbury, dean of the School of Continuing Studies. “When I saw the city"s demographics and profile I was quite impressed,” he adds.
In June the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation approved Tulane"s plan. Marksbury said the city of Madison plans to renovate a wing of a former elementary school building to house the university offices and classrooms.
Hawkins-Butler, the longest-serving female mayor in the nation, says the city sought out Tulane because of its “wonderful reputation.”
She first discussed the idea of a university campus in Madison with Steve Vassallo, who handles economic development for the city, but as Vassallo says, “She didn"t want just anyone. That led us to your doorstep.” He calls the MadisonÃ¢â¬“Tulane venture “the most exciting project I"ve been involved with in 25 years of economic development.”
“Madison has very high standards and so does Tulane,” the mayor says. “You will see Madison embrace this great university. We will make great strides together in this new partnership.”
Tulane President Scott Cowen also is pleased with the expansion plan. “Madison has an accomplished mayor with a demonstrated commitment to education and community building. We look forward to expanding Tulane"s presence in Mississippi and working with the Madison community,” Cowen says.
Based on the results of a recent survey of Madison citizens, Marksbury is planning to offer courses in business, journalism and liberal arts.
“We have a three-year arrangement to see what it"s like, what the students" interests are and what the reception is,” the dean adds. “My goal is to hire a staff and have them in place in March or April and begin planning a summer school.”
For more information, contact the School of Continuing Studies at 504-865-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org