The administration takes the TU Commitment seriously: an annual Commitment Cup and quarterly Pillars of the Commitment awards recognize employees who promote its goals in an exemplary way, and the provost signs every email to the faculty, “With commitment.” Integral to the TU Commitment is fostering a “culture of justice” on campus.
“We seek out complex problems and injustices in our society,” the strategic plan declares, “and engage in work that promotes justice.” The document also lays out a Diversity Action Plan for building “an inclusive, safe, and diverse community,” which it describes as “the primary foundation on which all [the university’s] objectives will be realized.” Clancy’s approach is aggressive or paternalistic, depending on the group addressed.
Entitled Building the Foundation for a Great Story and a Greater Commitment, the plan asks not what we want students to learn, but “How do we want TU students to feel?
” The answer consists in the four pillars of the new TU Commitment: .
At stake is whether we will continue to be a liberal university: a place where young people, briefly sheltered from the noisy imperatives of the day, may take root in the rich soil of the common human past and grow into mature, independent individuals.
Upham was replaced by Gerard Clancy, a psychiatrist who served as president of the University of Oklahoma–Tulsa from 2006 to 2014.Clancy’s proudest accomplishment is developing psychiatric-outreach programs for homeless people.His therapeutic sensibilities have informed all his work as TU’s president, starting with the university’s Strategic Plan for 2017–2022.Faculty resistance to the moral and therapeutic imperatives of the new institutional super ego is presumed to be so extensive as to require something only a few steps short of -style reeducation.On top of an anonymous, online-bias reporting system, Clancy has mandated training in “unconscious bias” for all employees.Professors critiqued their colleagues’ work, audited one another’s courses, and hosted informal lectures on subjects like pre-Raphaelite painting, medieval monasticism, and the economy of the Italian city-states.Faculty reading groups—some with 15 or more participants, including members of the wider Tulsa community—studied Heidegger’s .A Harvard Business School professor recently predicted that up to half of all American colleges and universities will go bankrupt in the next ten to 15 years.While this may be a worst-case scenario, universities have for years been offering an increasingly inferior product at unsustainably high prices to an ever-more skeptical group of prospective students.ith Upham’s retirement in the fall of 2016, TU’s problems expanded into the realm of education.The crisis we now confront is essentially moral and metaphysical.