Duren Professorship

Each year, Newcomb-Tulane College welcomes full-time faculty from the five undergraduate schools to apply for the William L. Duren Jr. ’26 Professorship Program. This program supports faculty activities that enrich the scope of undergraduate education within the College. It was established and endowed with a generous gift from the late William L. Duren, A&S ’26, M.A. ’28, Ph.D., LL.D. honoris causa ’59, professor emeritus of mathematics and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. The Duren professorship has allowed faculty in a variety of disciplines to enhance their undergraduate teaching in a number of creative ways.

23-24 Duren Professors

Jana Lipman

Jana Lipman

Jana Lipman is a scholar of U.S. foreign relations, U.S. immigration, and labor history. While her research spans numerous geographies, from Cuba to Hong Kong, at its core it investigates the local histories of diplomatic politics. Professor Lipman’s first monograph, Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution (University of California Press, 2009), argued how Cuban base workers were key actors in shaping U.S.-Cuban relations in Guantánamo, before, during, and after the revolution.

Her book, In Camps: Vietnamese Refugees, Asylum-Seekers, and Repatriates (University of California Press, 2020), reveals how first asylum sites (places that hosted refugee camps) “pushed” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to reshape international refugee policy. It also argues how Vietnamese activists in the camps and diasporic activists in resettlement countries influenced U.S. and international refugee policy. This project engages with questions raised by historians of human rights, humanitarianism, refugee studies, and Asian American studies. Dr. Lipman has also published essays about the relationship between the U.S. military and refugee camps, and has co-edited multiple projects on U.S. empire. Her future projects include investigating the histories of sexual violence and the U.S. military, collaborative projects on Southeast Asia and U.S. foreign relations, and an ongoing commitment to public history. Dr. Lipman teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in U.S. foreign relations, immigration, and 20th century political history. Specialized classes include seminars on the U.S. War in Vietnam, U.S. Public History, and Labor and Migration. She also taught numerous service learning classes and mentored student internships. At the graduate level, Dr. Lipman mentors students in 20th century U.S. history, U.S. Empire, U.S.-Latin American relations, and Labor History.


Pierre Conner

Pierre Conner

Pierre Conner is the Executive Director of the Tulane Energy Institute and Professor of Practice, Management Science. He teaches Energy Markets, Economics and Policy to Undergraduates and Energy Projects to Masters of Management in Energy students. He also guides the strategic direction and operations of the Tulane Energy Institute, which oversees energy-related academic programs for careers in the energy industry and related

banking, consulting, financial, technology and trading firms. He replaces James W. McFarland, who led the institute from its founding in 2003 until his retirement in July 2018. Conner brings nearly 40 years of experience in energy operations and finance to the Freeman School. Prior to joining Freeman, Conner was the President of Capital One Securities, an energy equity boutique investment banking subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation. Conner joined then Southcoast Capital as an energy analyst, and rose through the organization to Head of Equity Sales Research and Trading researching and analyzing hundreds of energy companies along the way and guiding the organization through multiple acquisitions and expanding capital markets services. Prior to his move to capital markets, Conner was Engineering Manager for Exxon's Domestic Drilling Organization. He was engaged in operations from the Gulf of Mexico to offshore California to the North Slope of Alaska and worked on the Exxon Mobil merger. He is a member of the board of directors of the Choice Foundation, a local Charter Management Organization and a past board chair of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.


Amy Chaffee

Amy Chaffee

Amy Chaffee is a playwright/director and performer and has worked in theatre since childhood. Her plays have been seen on 4 continents and she has taught at UCLA, CSU-Long Beach and CSU-Northridge. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and MFA from USD/Old Globe Theatre. She has acted in films, soap operas and episodic TV, in addition to being a Founder and former Artistic Director of Door Shakespeare in Door

County, WI. She is a dialect coach for film and television and for the past 12 years; her clientele have won Emmy's, Oscars, Tony's and Olivier awards. She is a Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and proficient in many other pedagogies.





Learn more about this program via the Duren Professorship Booklet.

About Duren

The William L. Duren '26 Professorship Program was established and endowed with a generous gift from Professor William L. Duren '26, M.A. '28, Ph.D., LL.D. honoris causa '59, professor emeritus of mathematics and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.

The objective of the William L. Duren Jr. ‘26 Professorship Program is to support faculty activities that enrich the scope of undergraduate education in Newcomb-Tulane College. The program facilitates intellectually rewarding interactions between faculty and students, both in and out of the classroom.

Duren Professors are selected from the faculty on the basis of their commitment to undergraduate teaching and their innovative proposals. While the Duren Program allows professors the freedom and resources to explore their personal research interests in greater depth, it is primarily concerned with providing the maximum educational benefit for the students.

Duren Professors may:

  • Arrange for supplemental experiences beyond the classroom that extend and enrich the formal classroom experience: field work, concert series, lecture series, travel to local archival collections or museums to consult primary materials, etc.
  • Adopt a multidisciplinary approach, which may or may not involve team teaching
  • Offer courses of a generalist rather than a highly discipline-specific type: for example, a general “modes of inquiry” approach or an approach that addresses fundamental, global questions across a range of disciplines
  • Offer courses that demonstrate the applications and extensions of their previous research to new intellectual problems
  • Offer courses that involve an unusual and distinctive pedagogy or an experiential component for which additional resources might be required

Duren Professors also serve on the Newcomb-Tulane College Grant Committee and participate in student engagement activities run by the College; additional details and dates will be provided in the appointment letter.

How to Apply

The Duren Professorship Program is administered by Newcomb-Tulane College. Prospective Duren professors may submit a proposal via email to the Office of Academic Enrichment at enrichment@tulane.edu

The proposal should include: 

  • Your department, email address, mailing address, and telephone number.
  • A brief but precise description as to what activities you intend to undertake as a Duren Professor and how the proposed activities fulfill special objectives.
  • A budget explaining how the $5,000 in program funds will be used, emphasizing how the expenditures fulfill the objectives of the program and facilitate worthwhile educational activity that would not otherwise be possible.

The prospective Duren Professor’s department chair is required to approve your participation in the program, to ensure that it is consistent with regular departmental activity.

Please contact Rosie Yates, Director of Academic Enrichment, at ryates5@tulane.edu with any questions.

2024-2025 Application Timeline

  • Early October: Call for proposals sent out for Posse, Duren, and College Scholars
  • October 23: Deadline for materials to be submitted to various contacts
  • November 8: Decisions communicated to faculty, with materials for contracts
Terms and Conditions of Appointment

Each year, three members of the faculty may serve as Duren Professors. The term of service is normally one year but it may be renewed. Duren Professors are selected by a committee consisting of the dean of Newcomb-Tulane College and other members of the college community. Each Duren Professor is provided with a $5,000 stipend plus up to $5,000 in funding.

Over the course of their term, Duren Professors teach at least one course that utilizes the resources provided by the Duren Program. 

Duren courses may be offered in the fall and/or spring semester. A Duren course may be a regular course offering that offers supplemental programming, or a special topics course that falls outside the regular curriculum. In order to permit the latter option, Duren Professors may use some of their funding to secure partial release from departmental teaching duties, if they so choose. Duren Professors are encouraged to offer courses that can be incorporated into regular departmental offerings so that they may fulfill major requirements.