TU welcomes K-12 education expert as presidential adviser  - The University of Tulsa
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TU welcomes K-12 education expert as presidential adviser 

Former Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist will serve as a senior adviser to University of Tulsa President Brad R. Carson as TU forges new and stronger relationships with established educational institutions and other organizations. She officially begins her duties at TU on Monday, Jan. 22.

(Left to right) George Justice, Deborah Gist, and Brad R. Carson

Gist’s unique set of experiences and skills will advance the university’s connection to the Tulsa community and its commitment to supporting current and future classroom teachers and administrators. She will work closely with TU Provost George Justice, the college deans, and academic department chairs on issues related to education.

“We welcome Deborah to campus and are eager for her to share here 35 years of expertise and engagement as an educator on every level,” Carson said. “The University of Tulsa is a leader in innovation and transformation, and Deborah will offer a specialized view on strategies and initiatives related to K-12 schools, districts, and their surrounding communities.”

The University of Tulsa offers multiple education undergraduate majors and minors in the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences.

“The University of Tulsa is an outstanding institution of higher education with a global reach and a hometown commitment. I am enthusiastic and honored to join the TU team to work on preK-20 initiatives, grow opportunities in education locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and to explore the growing importance of transformational leadership,” she said. “My journey in education has taught me the power of collaboration and innovation, and I am thrilled to bring my passion for both to TU’s vibrant community.” 

Gist also will serve as superintendent-in-residence with Transcend, a nonprofit organization that directly supports schools and educational systems. In this role, Gist will facilitate Transcend’s Learner-Centered Leadership Lab, a cohort program for visionary superintendents dedicated to putting the needs of learners front and center. 

A Tulsa native, Gist is nationally recognized for her design and support of novel programs that serve all students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida, a master’s of public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a fellow in the Broad Superintendent’s Academy and in the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and is now a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.