Tulane University: Public Service as a Brand Identity

  • Nanette Archer Svenson


In this chapter, the author describes Tulane University’s commitment to public service, community engagement, and undergraduate civic work, and how this aspect of the university is shaping its brand identity. A tradition of public service has always tied Tulane closely to its surrounding communities and has expanded over time to include statewide, nationwide, and international service partnerships as well. The university’s civic mission became even stronger and more deeply institutionalized following the Hurricane Katrina devastation in 2005. So profound was this institutional change that Tulane’s experience now serves as a model for other universities and schools seeking to incorporate similar public service initiatives. The author explores recent university strategies in this area, particularly with regard to undergraduate involvement in community service and social change, reviews quantitative and qualitative outcomes associated with these over the past decade, and shows how Tulane’s commitment to public service is rebranding the university’s image.


  1. Boyte, H., & Hollander, E. (1999). Wingspread declaration on renewing the civic mission of the American research university. Providence, RI: Campus Compact.Google Scholar
  2. Carnegie Foundation. (2015). All community engagement classified institutions: 2010 and 2015. Retrieved from
  3. Cowen, S., & Cowen, A. (2010). Tulane University’s strategic transformation. Innovations, 5(3), 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Culum, B., Roncevic, N., & Ledic, J. (2013). Facing new expectations—Integrating third mission activities into the university. In B. M. Kehm & U. Teichler (Eds.), The academic profession in Europe: New tasks and new challenges (pp. 163–195). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curley, M. F., & Stanton, T. K. (2012). The history of TRUCEN. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(4), 3–9.Google Scholar
  6. Deep Fried Advertising. (2016). Tulane University Center for Public Service. Retrieved from
  7. Enos, S. (2016). Independent, coexisting, collaborating? How institutions are organizing their efforts for social impact. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Diversity & Democracy, 19(3). Retrieved from
  8. Ilustre, V., Lopez, A., & Moely, B. (2012). Conceptualizing, building, and evaluating university practices for community engagement. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(4), 129–163.Google Scholar
  9. Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP). (2017). New partnership brings Tulane brand of service to Pakistan. Retrieved from
  10. Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force. (2009). A general description of vulnerability to flooding and risk for New Orleans and vicinity: Past, present, and future. Washington, DC: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved from
  11. International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE). (2016). About us. Retrieved from
  12. Kapferer, J. N. (2008). New strategic brand management: Creating and sustaining brand equity long term. London: Kogan Page Limited.Google Scholar
  13. Laredo, P. (2007). Revisiting the third mission of universities: Toward a renewed categorization of university activities? Higher Education Policy, 20(4), 441–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mather, M., & Jarosz, B. (2014). The demography of inequality in the United States. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau (PRB).Google Scholar
  15. Smith, B. (2012). Tulane University institutional initiatives. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(4), 203–204.Google Scholar
  16. Smith Case, A. E. (2016). Tulane University. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing.Google Scholar
  17. The Data Center. (2016). Independent analysis for informed decisions in southeast louisiana – data resources. Retrieved from
  18. The Princeton Review. (2016). The best 381 colleges of 2017. Retrieved from Scholar
  19. Tulane University. (2013). Academic review and engagement at Tulane University—A white paper for discussion (revised). Retrieved from
  20. Tulane University. (2015a). About Tulane–History. Retrieved from
  21. Tulane University. (2015b). Center for Public Service (CPS). Retrieved from
  22. Tulane University. (2015c). Tulane empowers. Retrieved from
  23. Tulane University. (2016). Center for Public Service, Tulane University, Final report 2014–2015. New Orleans, LA: Tulane University Center for Public Service.Google Scholar
  24. Tulane University. (2017). Spotlight. TSSW is the fifth oldest school of social work in the country. Retrieved from
  25. Tulane University Libraries. (2017). Tulane University’s contributions to health sciences research and education. Retrieved from
  26. Tulane University Undergraduate Admission. (2016). About Tulane. Retrieved from
  27. University Business. (2008). 50 Best branding ideas: How colleges and universities are successfully creating and communicating their brands. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nanette Archer Svenson
    • 1
  1. 1.Tulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations