Scott S. Cowen
is President Emeritus of Tulane University and the author, most recently, of Winnebagos on Wednesdays: How Visionary Leadership Can Transform Higher Education. He served as Tulane’s 14th president from July 1998 through June 2014 and has been named one of the top college presidents in the nation by Time. Newsweek twice declared Tulane, under his leadership, one of the “Hottest Schools in America.”
Dr. Cowen is the recipient of several national awards, including the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award and the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education, as well as honorary degrees from the nation’s top institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Brown University, Yeshiva University, the University of Connecticut, and Case Western Reserve University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, which advised President Barack Obama on the needs of disconnected youth.
He has been a leader in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which inflicted more than $650 million in damages to Tulane alone, and has been widely praised for helping to transform New Orleans’ K-12 public schools and health care system after the storm.
Dr. Cowen currently serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. He is a former member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the NCAA Executive Committee and a former board chair of Conference USA. In 2003, Dr. Cowen 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, he 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).
Dr. Cowen received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and his master’s and doctorate in business administration from The George Washington University.
From the Office of the President: Upholding the Integrity and Ideals of Intercollegiate Athletics
Ideally, presidential oversight of athletics should result in an appropriate balance of athletics and academics, necessary reform and accountability of those in charge. In this session, panelists will discuss the challenges they face upholding their role in athletics.