November 15, 2018
November is only halfway over, and already it’s been an incredibly busy but fruitful month. I spoke alongside Mayor G.T. Bynum at the Schweitzer Leadership Summit, which brought 60 of the nation’s brightest grad students and health professionals to downtown Tulsa. Paula and I hosted a dinner with leaders from the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce to share all of the latest, greatest things going on at TU. And, today, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with senators, House members and alumni as we map ways to further advance our university. Closer to home, we continue to celebrate faculty and staff who are making their mark on TU.
Two years ago, we launched the Shark Tank Kick-Start grant program to expand faculty research and help professors pursue external resources. TU’s Shark Tank funding supports small projects that can be completed within a year, and applicants can request up to $5,000. Assistant professors from all TU colleges were invited to submit proposals, with the most promising initiatives then receiving an invitation to deliver a five-minute oral pitch to a panel of “sharks” (deans). We recently concluded this year’s program and awarded grants to seven TU faculty members. Congratulations to our 2018 Shark Tank grant recipients!
Last spring, we established the TU Commitment Cup to spotlight the outstanding work that university employees do every day. The Employee Initiatives/Recognition Subcommittee of our Staff Advisory Council has developed an expanded version of the Commitment Cup competition. This new process allows us to recognize individuals who exemplify the four pillars of the TU Commitment on a quarterly basis. Submissions for the annual Commitment Cup as well as individual pillar awards may be completed through a single online nomination form. The deadline for the first round of quarterly awards is Dec. 1. We look forward to sharing stories that highlight your good work.
I hope that each of you enjoys a restful Thanksgiving with family and friends. As a reminder, we have extended the holiday to include Wednesday, Nov. 21, for all nonessential employees following a recommendation by our Staff Advisory Council. I am grateful to be part of such a talented team of staff and faculty who live the TU Commitment.