Unusual Year, Extraordinary Leadership (employee email) – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma 2021-07-18 21:34:15 –

Dear TU community,

Earlier this week in our final TU board At this year’s meeting, the administration proposed to the Board and we approved an operating budget based on a realistic yet conservative earnings estimate, including all funding for 2010. Strategic planning prioritiesWhile maintaining financial discipline. At first glance, this news may look like the everyday process of a university doing business. But given the years TU faced, in fact, given that the whole country and the world have endured, that is not normal.

The TU administration has devoted 21 years to achieving a higher level of financial stability and operational excellence, which are the precursors needed to shift its focus to the growth strategy underlying the strategic plan. All the signs are that these efforts focused on financial discipline, student success and shared accountability are beginning to pay dividends. TU can simultaneously invest in key growth areas such as cyber, online master’s degree, student retention, and career development to strengthen brand identity and registration while cutting costs by nearly $ 25 million. I did.

Achieving this progress during the pandemic was extraordinary, and the entire community faced the challenge. Unlike many universities, TU maintained a hybrid presence on campus throughout the year due to the tenacity of its students, faculty and staff. The free continuous testing program was successful and the campus positive rate was consistently below Tulsa’s rate.

Finally, of course, it was an important achievement of the strategic planning process, which has been overwhelmingly endorsed and approved by all who care for this great institution. Our donors are excited, our faculty and staff work together, and future students, parents and new partners are feeling moments of change and future opportunities.

As we said, we recognize that many of these successes in these times of trials are simply extraordinary. We also recognize the role of good leadership in achieving many things in such a short period of time. Janet Levit has had a truly remarkable and positive impact on the University of Tulsa, its mission, strategic direction, and students.

In her previous role as Vice President of Strategic Initiative, Janet led the strategic planning process of placing universities and boards on the path of clear institutional goals, including improving retention and graduation rates. .. Expand the representatives of diverse students and faculty members. Prepare students for careers in the current and future economies.

As Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and President, Janet led the university through a successful accreditation crisis with confirmation of accreditation by the TU Higher Learning Commission. She led the creation of a Center for Student Success, strengthening and centralizing support services to improve student performance, and promoted the university to achieve its truly student-centric goals. With changes to the university’s academic footprint to help the university better allocate resources to achieve its strategic goals, to the faculty committees and the Senate representing all universities. Oversaw the process of outsourcing the proposal of alternative structures.

When former President Gerry Clancy resigned on January 30, 2020, we immediately asked Janet to lead the university as interim president because of his leadership skills, expertise and commitment to TU’s success. I learned that. As always, she immediately accepted this opportunity, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, shortly after the Moody’s Investors service downgraded TU’s credit rating, and was extraordinary in the history of the institution. I took on that role in a moment. When the United States and universities were preparing an interim monitoring report to the Higher Learning Commission.

We all know what happened next. TU is on a stronger and more sustainable financial base despite the significant headwinds of COVID-19, and the TU community is united around a new strategic plan to move the institution forward.

What you may not know is that Janet was known for organizing and organizing “walking meetings” even before it became COVID. Many of the university leaders, trustees, and other members of the TU community have participated in these walks in the last year and a half. So it seems to us that we named the pedestrian bridge around Dietler Commons the “Janet Levitt Pathway” in honor of her excellent service and in honor of many walking meetings.

Janet was passionate about boating and sometimes spent time exercising with the TU boat team. She also saw it as a good metaphor for a successful team. It emphasizes the individual and collective strength of the team, the need for united cooperation, and a sense of team spirit. For this reason, TU trustees and honorary trustees have donated funds to a new rowing boat named “Janet K. Levitt.”

These are just a few signs of our deep appreciation for the tireless efforts and dedication that Janet has shown through her many roles while here. TU is a really good place thanks to her leadership. On behalf of the entire board, I am deeply grateful for her extraordinary contribution to the University of Tulsa.

Thank you.

Dana Weber, Chair
Marcia MacLeod, Vice Chairman

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