tu homecoming

The sun sets on the TU campus just as the Homecoming festivities begin at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa on Friday October 13, 2017. JESSIE WARDARSKI/ Tulsa World

Recently, University of Tulsa faculty and staff received a thoughtful note from the vice president of admission.

The note thanked “every faculty and staff member who helped prospective students feel at home this year,” observing these efforts contributed to the achievement of what “has every indication” of being the university’s “largest ever freshman class.”

As top administrators pursue their controversial plan to “re-imagine academics” at TU, they should reflect that this entering class was not a product of the April announcement to radically restructure the university.

Rather, as I have learned over three decades working with the admissions office, students choose TU for its commitment to the high-quality instruction taking place within small classes taught by faculty who are active in research and are members of departments with robust professional cultures.

Students respond favorably to the varied careers that undergraduates educated in this manner pursue. The success that degrees in political science have demonstrated in law, politics, business, academia, medicine, and nonprofit work, among other areas, is replicated by the graduates of departments across TU.

Contemporary students especially appreciate the remarkable civic-mindedness that TU impresses upon its graduates.

Curiously, rather than seek improvements within a structure that preserves and strengthens the characteristics that explain TU’s attractiveness, administrators have chosen instead to adopt the artificial construction of “interdisciplinary divisions” linked to “contemporary issues” and a yet-to-be-defined first-year program of “university studies.”

Editor's Note: Jeffrey Hockett is a professor in the Department of Political Science at TU.

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to letters@tulsaworld.com.

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