Financial "How-to" Course Added to SLAMM Offerings

Larry Schloss

Although today’s college students generally graduate with a deep understanding of their majors as well as the ability to think creativity and critically, they are often at a loss when it comes to understanding financial matters that will have a major impact on their lives. In response, the School of Liberal Arts Management Minor (SLAMM) is developing a new course on financial literacy that will help Tulane students understand and take control of these critical economic issues.

“Financial literacy is much more than just talking about money. It is about gaining competencies in very important areas of our lives,” says Toni Weiss, the economics professor of practice who is creating and will teach the course. “It means understanding the decisions we must make and the decisions that are made for us that affect us financially.”

Beginning July 1, Weiss will be the Lawrence M.v.D. Schloss Professor of Practice in Economics. In her expanded role, starting in spring 2017, she will teach the financial literacy course. The course will be made possible through the generosity of Larry Schloss, who graduated from Tulane in 1976 with an economics degree.

Schloss is president of New York City money management firm Angelo, Gordon & Co. He served recently as New York City Deputy Comptroller for Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer for the $145 billion New York City pension system.

“I believe that every student graduating from Tulane should be conversant in the basics of personal finance and the economic system that we live in,” Schloss says. “To not be, is to be unprepared for life after Tulane.”

Toni Weiss
Toni Weiss Senior Professor of Practice, Department of Economics Associate Director, Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching

Under some instructors, a financial literacy class could be restricted to “how-to” practical information: how to set up a 401k, how to negotiate a mortgage. But, given the ability and curiosity of Tulane’s students, Weiss envisions a course that teaches real-world knowledge while also giving students a deep understanding of financial issues.

The financial literacy course will be open to students in the School of Liberal Arts Management Minor, as well as the general student body who are not majoring in business or economics. Hosting the course within SLAMM will attract students who might not normally sign up for a business or economics course. “It’s about putting it where it feels the most accessible to students,” says Weiss, who is also associate director of classroom engagement for the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching.

In preparing the course, Weiss has been searching for course syllabi at peer institutions and has found a dearth of similar courses at top universities. She says Tulane’s offering will be unique and distinctive. “Tulane will be on the cutting edge.”

If you’re interested in learning more or supporting the mission of SLA,
please contact School of Liberal Arts Development Officer Laurie Martin
at 504.247.1375 or