TU’s new president delivered his vision for the future of the university and fielded questions from students.
During the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 1, TU President Brad Carson spoke with a group of TU students on the theme of “A Vision for TU.” He began by telling the story of a city that, while it had great wealth, was struggling to reinvent itself. While at one point there were many people who lived in this city, eventually people began to leave the city and move away in search of better opportunities.
While this sounds like it might be the city Tulsa, in this example, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the city that experienced this. At this point in time when people were leaving, a university realized that change needed to be made before the city was completely forgotten. Carnegie Tech was this university and they decided to invest in software, artificial intelligence and robotics in the process of reinventing themselves. As a result of this, the city of Pittsburgh began to turn around and this was due to the success of Carnegie Mellon.
After telling this story, President Carson began to relate this to where we are in Tulsa right now. As of now, people are leaving Tulsa and the city is beginning to be overlooked as people look toward Dallas, Houston and other cities. For Tulsa to come back to prominence, The University of Tulsa must look to what Carnegie Mellon did to Pittsburgh and follow in that path. This will bring the city of Tulsa back to what it once was, and it will once again be a world class city where people want to live and conduct business. He concluded by emphasizing that TU must step up and make the change for Tulsa to rise back to prominence.
After sharing his vision for TU, he took some time to answer questions from students about this vision. When asked about the strategic areas in which TU can invest, he responded by sharing that he believes that cyberspace, electrical engineering, petroleum engineering and robotics are these key areas.
A student asked about how TU can best reach incoming freshmen and encourage them to attend our school. President Carson’s response was that we need to focus on communicating the return on investment on a TU education. He emphasized that our goal should be that we are the best university between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River.
Another student asked about how TU can continue to become more of a global institution. President Carson responded by remarking how TU needs to increase its international student enrollment. Over the past year, that number has dropped due to several global issues. To become more of a global institution, TU must increase this number.
In addition to bringing in more international students, another goal of President Carson’s is that 80 percent of TU students would study abroad while in college. Finally, he emphasized that TU must rise in the rankings of US News and World Report to attract the interest of students around the world. By doing these three things, he is convinced that TU will rise to be more of a global institution. Overall, President Carson was confident that heading in this direction will be the right plan for the long-term future of the City of Tulsa and The University of Tulsa.