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TU students react to new president selection

TU president student reaction
Posted at 10:11 PM, Apr 05, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — The University of Tulsa Board of Trustees named Brad Carson as the university's 21st president.

TU students told 2 Works for You the hire shows the direction the university is headed.

"A little surprised at first, but I think it makes sense over time," TU junior Justin Klopfer said.

Klopfer told 2 Works for You Carson's background with the U.S. Department of Defense fits in line with university's plan to boost its cyber program. TU's Board of Trustees made it a goal to "strengthen and expand" its energy and cyber studies as part of a new strategic plan for the institution.

"STEM is kind of the focus and cyber security and energy are the focus," Klopfer said. "Other programs are going to be sidelined because eventually you have to make decisions.”

The liberal arts programs were cut and consolidated in recent years. In 2019, TU announced the gradual elimination of half of its liberal arts programs.

"It seems like it's always the liberal arts to take the cut," Klopfer said.

Klopfer, a computer science major, supports a shift to STEM but said zeroing in on energy and cyber excludes diverse career paths and gets away from what he believes TU is all about.

“The more we head in that direction, the blander we get," he said. "The further away from a real university we get.”

A TU spokesperson told 2 Works for You in a statement:

"TU's new strategic plan places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of arts, humanities, and social sciences in a well-rounded education. It is a hallmark that distinguishes TU from many other universities."

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