August 30, 2018
This week marks the start of a new academic year and new opportunities to reaffirm the TU Commitment. In recent weeks, TU has been recognized by Forbes as a top university for STEM education and international students, listed as one of the top universities in the country by The Princeton Review and one of the top 20 small universities in the world by Times Higher Education. These accolades are a direct reflection of your efforts, which demonstrate TU’s exemplary service to our students, alumni and community.
As good as that news is, rankings are not our only measure. Our focus on all aspects of the student experience as well as retention, affordability, assessment and continuous improvement will ensure our future success. Our strategic plan guides us in reaching this higher level of performance.
We will not have official numbers until October, but the incoming class includes the most domestic freshmen in our university’s history. I want to express my sincere thanks to faculty and staff who worked diligently throughout the summer to ensure that all activities around welcoming our new and returning students were executed flawlessly.
Those welcome activities included our annual matriculation, during which our speakers shared stories about TU’s mission and commitment to students and set the tone for the milestones ahead. If you have not already, I encourage you to spend a few minutes watching the ceremony.
Our commitment to students
We all share in the responsibility to live out our mission and commitment each day. Campus events offer opportunities to spend time getting to know each other better and building our community. Whether it is a concert or symposium, I encourage everyone to visit the calendar and support the activities available to you and bring your friends and family. Our season football opener at 6 p.m. Saturday offers us one of the first opportunities to do so while supporting our students. As I wrote in a Tulsa World editorial last week, our student-athletes comprise nearly 10 percent of our student body and, in many aspects, they are leaders in living our mission. They bring a wonderful mix of diverse cultures and backgrounds to Tulsa from more than 30 countries and are dedicated to scholarship, character and humanity.
Sexual assault awareness and prevention
Shared responsibility also extends to our campus-wide efforts to address sexual assault. We have rolled out CaneCares, a simple online tool for students to confidentially communicate concerns or observations they want to share about a friend, classmate or our campus climate. Reports submitted to utulsa.edu/canecares are reviewed by TU staff members trained to assist in many ways. As those who work directly with students on a regular basis, I appreciate your help communicating the resources we have in place to help with our assault awareness and prevention efforts. Having frank conversations about this important issue must exist at all levels of the university to ensure a safe, welcoming campus.
Gerard Clancy, M.D.