Chris Lane steps down as program manager of School of Public Health


Courtesy of Chris Lane

Chris Lane (front right) started the Outreach Tulane program in 2006. Outreach Tulane is a campus-wide day of service, and is the oldest and largest community service event at Tulane.

Chris Lane stepped down from his position as program manager of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine on Sept. 12. Lane was part of the initial staff of the program and has served it for the past 10 years, guiding it from its humble beginnings to what it is today.

Prior to his work with the School of Public Health, Lane was active in helping start the Center for Public Service.

Lane moved to New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was then when he helped start CPS, a program that, like Public Health, has seen steady growth over the years. 

The whole service component was a response to Katrina to get students to help the city,” Lane said.

Two years after helping start CPS, Lane began working with the School of Public Health. The program began with 11 students in spring 2008 and has now grown to nearly 600 students. This rapid growth can be attributed in large part to the work of the faculty and staff at the school, including Lane.

The program caters specifically to students’ needs. Its curriculum has changed through the years, as classes were cut and moved around due to feedback from the student body. When students expressed a desire for integrated pre-med classes, they received them. A semester of study abroad was also incorporated into the program in response to significant student interest.

After determining what students were truly interested in learning, many electives were added, such as Obstetrics, The Epidemiology of STIs and Environmental Toxicology. At other universities, elective courses like these are typically reserved for graduate students. At Tulane, however, they are offered to and popular among undergraduates.

“I’d sit down with students and listen to them,” Lane said. “[I’d] take their comments and concerns seriously and then bring their ideas to faculty meetings and try to be a direct conduit for students.”

Looking at the future of the program, Lane hopes it will continue to excel.

“It’s kind of like raising an eagle,” Lane said. “At some point you’ve just got to let it fly out of the nest and go where it needs to go … I would like to see [it] recognized as the number one public health program in the United States in the U.S. News Report.”

After his decade-long tenure at Tulane, Lane now plans his move Vietnam to take time off and potentially start an education consulting business.  He said what he will miss most is working with students to further their academic, career and service aspirations. 

“I’ll miss the joys of watching students reach their goals and become the fantastic people that they do,” Lane said.

Leave a Comment