President Emeritus and Distinguished University Chair, Tulane University
Scott S. Cowen served as Tulane’s 14th president from July 1998 through June 2014. TIME magazine named Cowen one of the nation’s Top 10 Best College Presidents, and he was one of only four university leaders nationwide to receive the 2009 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award.
In recognition of his commitment to higher education and society at large, Cowen received the 2014 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education.
Cowen led Tulane through the most trying period of its history when, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, flooding 70 percent of Tulane’s uptown campus and all the buildings of its downtown health sciences campus. Under Cowen’s leadership, the campus was repaired and in December 2005, the Board of Tulane approved his Renewal Plan, a sweeping effort that strengthened and focused the university’s academic mission while strategically addressing its current and future operations in the post-Katrina era.
Cowen has held leadership positions in national academic and professional associations, including the Association of American Universities, American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Prior to coming to Tulane, Cowen was at Case Western Reserve University for 23 years as a professor, including 14 years as dean of the Weatherhead School of Management and the Weatherhead Professor of Management. He is the author of five books and more than 100 academic and professional articles, essays and reviews.
Cowen received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1968. After serving a three-year term in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer from 1968-1971, he went back to school and received masters and doctoral degrees in business administration from the George Washington University.
Scott has served in various intercollegiate athletics leadership roles. He was a member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, the NCAA Executive Committee and was a former board chair of Conference USA. In 2003 Scott led efforts to change the state of intercollegiate athletics in Division I and created the Presidential Coalition for Athletics Reform made up of presidents from more than 40 non-BCS schools. In 2012 Scott was part of the 12-member presidential oversight committee that voted to do away with the BCS and replace it with the College Football Playoff (CFP).