In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, professors and students from the city's universities took academic refuge in other schools - some as far away as the University of Haifa in Israel.
Now, more than a month after the storm, New Orleans' universities - including Tulane, Loyola, the University of New Orleans and Xavier - are putting together ambitious plans to reopen by January.
Officials are patching up battered campuses, finding housing for employees whose homes were destroyed, gauging how many students will return and persuading top faculty not to jump ship.
Many New Orleans faculty have taken temporary refuge at universities like Brown, Yale and Princeton, and are using their break from teaching as uninterrupted time to focus on research projects. AM