Opportunities on the Horizon

January 25, 2019

Dear colleagues,

Just a few weeks into the new year, we have wasted no time moving forward with initiatives that will advance our Strategic Plan and set us up for future success. TU is forging community and industry partnerships that harness our core strengths and elevate our status as a thought leader in areas such as cybersecurity and energy. We also remain committed to the hard work connected to our recruitment, retention and continuous improvement efforts.

Cybersecurity Initiatives

TU is tackling one of our country’s biggest threats, with the potential to compromise our military, financial, energy and health sectors. TU, well known for its cybersecurity excellence, is an ideal choice to lead the creation of a Tulsa Enterprise for Cyber Innovation, Talent and Entrepreneurship (TECITE) district. Developing a world-class cybersecurity training and innovation center in Tulsa would bring together industry partners, federal agencies and TU faculty/students/alumni to develop solutions that defend information systems. We, along with leaders from local, state and federal government, recently had the opportunity to meet with executives from the largest insurance companies in the insurance industry, a field that would benefit significantly from all that Tulsa and TU can bring to the table in protecting critical information.

We presented a proposal that includes development of four Centers of Excellence: an Engineering Research Center at TU funded by the National Science Foundation; a Multi-Federal Agency Cybersecurity Center of Excellence; a Cybersecurity Insurance Institute; and a Consortium of Business Sectors in banking, energy, retail, health and transportation focused on cyberdefense research and innovation. TU envisions co-locating these centers along the 6th Street Opportunity Zone Corridor, linking the university with downtown Tulsa. Also in support of our focus on cybersecurity, TU faculty and staff have organized the 2019 Tulsa Cyber Summit, scheduled for March 24-26, which invites professionals and students to explore the latest cybersecurity challenges and strategies. With our 20-year history as the lead supplier of top-secret security clearance talent to federal agencies and as a national center of excellence in cyberdefense education and research, TU is well-positioned to grow the cyber workforce and innovation in Tulsa.

General Counsel

I hope you will join me in welcoming Elizabeth C. Bullock as general counsel, effective Jan. 28. Historically, we have relied on outside firms to provide legal counsel. We anticipate that bringing this position in-house will provide a cost savings to the university as well as building continuity and historical understanding. Elizabeth’s initial work will focus on reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure they are up-to-date and in line with best practices. She has a strong background in higher education litigation and compliance and most recently provided counsel at Harvard University. Elizabeth grew up in Tulsa and is very familiar with TU. I look forward to her joining our executive team.

Diverse and Inclusive Campus

Thank you to all who attended the MLK Day Parade and volunteered your time at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. As we celebrated the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, I was reminded of his poignant words: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” We will continue to embrace critical thinking as we navigate our day-to-day activities, and especially in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive campus.

Sincerely,

Gerard P. Clancy, M.D.
President