Michael Fitts is the 15th president of Tulane University. He arrived at Tulane in July 2014, bringing with him a strong emphasis on heightening cross-disciplinary education and research.
President Fitts believes students and higher education institutions can set themselves apart in a fast-changing world and ever-shifting economy through the combining of different fields and skills. In his first year at Tulane, he launched task forces to lead the university in deepening its unique strengths for interdisciplinary collaboration. He sees powerful advantages in the university’s manageable size, its wide selection of professional schools, the unified undergraduate college and multiple cross-disciplinary projects already in place. He aims to create the most engaged undergraduate experience in the country through this rethinking of academic options, residential living, extracurricular activities and more. In graduate education and research, he will foster intellectual cross-pollination that can produce solutions to some of the world’s most fundamental problems.
Previously, President Fitts served 14 years as dean of the Law School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was recognized for greatly boosting that school’s offerings in interdisciplinary education. He also presided over a quadrupling of Penn Law’s endowment, a more than 40 percent increase in the size of the Law School faculty and a doubling of all forms of student financial aid.
Areas of Expertise (3)
Higher Education Administration
Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse Excellence in Prevention Award (2018)
The organization empowers community members to build a safe and healthy future through prevention, treatment and recovery support services that foster resilience and well-being.
University of Pennsylvania Law School Distinguished Service Award (2015)
The award recognized his extraordinary service to the law school as a faculty member and dean for more than two decades. His leadership and vision transformed the Law School into the premier provider of a cross-disciplinary legal education that it is today, said Laura Christa, president of the law alumni society.
Harvard College: BA
Yale University School of Law: JD
Media Appearances (6)
Tips From The Top: One On One With Michael Fitts, President of Tulane University
Thrive Global online
Mike Fitts talks about leadership and lessons he's learned about building, managing and leading teams.
America’s colleges struggle to envision the future of diversity on campus
The Hechinger Report print
America’s colleges struggle to define, let alone achieve, diverse campuses in today’s identity-centric and socioeconomically divided climate.
Tulane University breaks fundraising record, exceeds $150 million
The Times-Picayune print
New gifts and commitments at Tulane University exceeded $150 million this year, once again breaking the university's all-time fundraising record after Tulane broke records in 2017 by raising more than $126 million.
Tulane announces massive fundraising goal, says $820 million has been collected
The New Orleans Advocate print
Tulane University has collected more than 60 percent of a $1.3 billion fundraising goal after six years of privately soliciting donations. When the full fundraising goal — Tulane’s most ambitious ever — is realized, it will help the school take a more prominent place among universities of its size and standing elsewhere in the country, officials said.
University president: We know your kids are drinking and we need your help
Fox News online
As a university president, I worry constantly about the ways that students’ choices today will impact the rest of their lives. Universities must balance the freedom necessary for students to become adults with the risks to their health and safety.
The New Orleans I watched suffer from afar is the city I now proudly call home
The Guardian print
Even before Katrina, the city still had complex problems, but the people here are dedicated to understanding and addressing them