“It is a great and humbling responsibility to lead any university. It is the privilege of my life to lead Tulane.” —Michael A. Fitts, President of Tulane University
On behalf of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, we would like to extend an enormous congratulations to Michael A. Fitts, Tulane University’s 15th President.
In a dignified and musical ceremony with nearly a hundred representatives of other institutions of higher education clad in academic regalia in attendance, before an audience of nearly a thousand, Michael A. Fitts was inaugurated as the 15th president of Tulane University on Thursday (March 17) in McAlister Auditorium on the uptown campus. Fitts reiterated the theme of the inauguration — “crossing boundaries” — as he spoke of his passion for interdisciplinary academic work.
Tulane is the university that the 21st century needs, said Fitts. “It moves forward with unmatched determination, with a character forged like steel by the fires of crisis. Together we will make Tulane a place known worldwide for instilling creative combinations of knowledge in all its students.”
Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, made the official presentation of Fitts. She has known him for a dozen years from his tenure as dean of the law school there, where she said that he was a “truly transformative dean.”
“Ask Mike about this, and he will talk about interdisciplinarity. It’s a mouthful. Ignore that,” said Gutmann.
Taylor is excited to be leading the charge of interdisciplinarity and cross-disciplinary initiatives at Tulane. The Center brings togehter Tulane faculty, students and researchers from a wide array of disciplines together to work collaboratively on practical solutions to real-life problems in the environment, education, health care and more.
In his March 18th “The View from Gibson,” Fitts said, “I want to thank the inauguration planning committee and its chairs, Dusty Porter, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, and Ken Schwartz, dean of the School of Architecture, for their efforts in making this extraordinary day possible.”
Ken Schwartz is the founding director of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and was appointed as the first Michael Sacks Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship, in addition to his role as dean of the School of Architecture.