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    Dillard’s plans of re-opening in the spring


    Dillard University will offer classes at a Tulane University center in the Elmwood business park and possibly in a Tulane office building in downtown New Orleans in January as the historically black institution recovers from massive Hurricane Katrina damage, a Tulane executive said late Thursday.

    The classes, to be taught by Dillard professors, will be the largest off-campus operation for Dillard or Xavier universities during the spring semester, Tulane Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Lester Lefton said.

    The downtown Tulane building that could house Dillard classes is at 1555 Poydras St.

    Dillard and Xavier students can attend Tulane or Loyola University classes on a space-available basis in the spring. How many can do so hasn’t been determined.

    They will hold a visiting-student status that will allow for credits to be transferred easily to their home institution, and they won’t pay tuition in addition to what they already have paid to Tulane or Xavier, said Lefton, who is serving as facilitator for a working group of executives from Tulane, Loyola, Xavier and Dillard.

    Lefton spoke at the end of a daylong planning meeting at a Tulane office in Houston that included 23 officials from the four New Orleans institutions.

    "This is a work in progress," said Lefton, who also is Tulane’s provost. "This is our first meeting. We broke into task forces to address a wide range of issues."

    Xavier and Dillard were hit with extensive flooding, with Dillard believed to have had far worse damage because of a number of low-elevation buildings on the Gentilly campus. Tulane sustained extensive damage from flooding, but it primarily faced only wind damage on the river side of Freret Street. Loyola had little damage.

    Xavier tentatively plans to reopen its campus near South Carrollton Avenue in January.

    Services to Dillard and Xavier students will offered by Tulane and Loyola at no additional charge, as the four institutions help one another maintain a sense of identity in the coming year, campus officials said in a news release this week.

    "The New Orleans area universities are a vital part of the state’s economy and higher education community," said Loyola’s president, the Rev. Kevin Wildes. "It’s imperative that we are all able to resume operations and welcome back our students in January 2006."

    The University of New Orleans launched regular classes this week, although at a fraction of the scale of its normal operations, at its Jefferson Parish branch on Causeway Boulevard in Metairie. UNO’s top administrators, who have been temporarily working out of the Louisiana State University system offices at the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, are setting up new offices at the Jefferson center as repairs are done on UNO’s Lakefront campus. The main UNO campus was partially covered by floodwaters after Katrina.

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    Dillard’s plans of re-opening in the spring