Our Views: Xavier rebound a good sign

One frequently stated goal of the recovery effort after Hurricane Katrina was that institutions shouldn’t simply be rebuilt to their condition after the storm, but also made even better.

Xavier University seems to be reaching that promise, as we were reminded by a recent story on the university’s post-Katrina fortunes by Associated Press reporter Chevel Johnson.

As Johnson reported, Xavier has a new pharmacy building and chapel and a new convocation center — campus amenities that are helping the historically black Catholic university advance its mission of nationally recognized instruction, much of it in science-related fields.

According to the National Science Foundation, Xavier ranks fifth in the nation in producing black graduates who eventually receive science and engineering doctorates. Enrollment is still down from its pre-Katrina high of 4,190, standing at 3,137 for this fall’s semester.

We’re heartened by Xavier’s progress since it was inundated by flood waters in 2005. The university is an important part of the higher education landscape in Louisiana and, indeed, the rest of the country.