Dr. Gerard Clancy Continues TU’s Leadership Legacy

Managing Editor

PRESIDENTIAL VISION: University of Tulsa President Dr. Gerard Clancy stands in front of Collins Hall on the university campus. Clancy came to TU in 2015 and became president in January. Currently, he is working with stakeholders and administrators to finalize the university’s five-year strategic plan for 2017-2022 and other university initiatives.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

Editor’s Note: University of Tulsa President Dr. Gerard Clancy is one of Greater Tulsa Reporter’s “10 People to Watch in 2017,” as announced in its January 2017 issue. was the first news group in Greater Tulsa to introduce “10 People to Watch,” which launched in January 2009.

Since becoming president of the University of Tulsa in January, Dr. Gerard Clancy is leading the charge of many transformations at the university, including a new strategic plan and additional program and campus changes.

Clancy joined TU in 2015 after leading the transformation of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa medical school.

An Iowa native, Clancy came to Oklahoma with his family in 2001 to take the position as dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. His move to Oklahoma came about largely due to his desire to help to grow a medical school, he says.

During Clancy’s eight years as OU-Tulsa president, the school added more than $327 million in new facilities, academic degree programs, endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships. The campus also established educational and research partnerships with more than 100 community agencies and a community health network that includes after-hours free clinics for the underserved, pediatric school-based clinics in disadvantaged areas, mobile psychiatric teams, and the OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic.

He also helped to create the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, a joint venture between the two universities that provides a four-year program of medical education in Tulsa, an accomplishment in which Clancy takes great pride.

His opportunity to move to the University of Tulsa was wrapped up in his desire to continue growing medical education in the area, to do “what I had done at OU,” says Clancy. “I was approached to build the health sciences department at Oxley College.”

In 2015, Clancy launched the College of Health Sciences, which was renamed the Oxley College of Health Sciences in honor of The Oxley Foundation and its support of the school. He relocated the program to the former Blue Cross Blue Shield building at 1215 S. Boulder Ave. in early 2016. Oxley College is home to the TU School of Nursing; the faculty of Community Medicine; and the departments of Athletic Training, Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences and Communication Sciences & Disorders.

Clancy’s interest in the health field began early in his life, with his plan to be a medical doctor, specifically focusing on cardiac research. However, his career path took a turn when, as a medical student, he spent time caring for patients in a psychiatry unit.

“I was struck by the neuroscience of mental illness, of people and their backgrounds, how personality and environment are all weaved into an illness,” he says.
That moment of discovery spurned his interest in mental health.

He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, an American Heart Association Research Fellowship, and a medical degree. He continued on at the University of Iowa with his psychiatry residency and psychiatry chief resident training.

After college, he served on active duty as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force for six years.

After leaving the Air Force, he returned to Iowa to be with his family and to serve as assistant professor at the University of Iowa.

Clancy says another proud achievement is the 2005 Lewin Report, a mental health study that brought Tulsa leaders together in creation of a community-wide plan for health improvement. The study revealed a 14-year life expectancy discrepancy between North Tulsa residents and those living in other portions of the city.

In 2016, after a decade of putting into practice new health initiatives, such as additional clinics and doctors and programs focused on disease prevention, the North Tulsa life expectancy had improved by three years. Currently, a similar project supported by the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, called the Tulsa Mental Health Plan is underway, which involves an in-depth study of the area’s mental health and substance abuse care delivery system and creation of a comprehensive 10-year plan for improvement.

Since Clancy officially took the role as president of TU in January, the university has seen the loss of certification status for its teacher preparation program, on-campus rape allegations and the recent death of President Emeritus Steadman Upham, due to complications in surgery.

“We all greatly miss Stead,” says Clancy. “We were looking forward to his return to campus and teaching. We were so fortunate to have him and Peggy as such a vital part of Tulsa.

“His vision and work have forever shaped the University of Tulsa and the city we call home. He placed the power of community at the center of his work. Throughout his life, Stead created profound opportunities for others. He changed more lives than we could ever know.”

Regarding the university’s loss of teacher preparation certification, Clancy says that TU is working to both regain the certification and provide a solution for affected students.
Addressing the issue of campus safety, Clancy says that the university has coordinated several new programs, policies and educational efforts. These include enhanced security, prevention and early intervention training, the hiring of a violence prevention coordinator, student partnerships to raise awareness, and campus-wide coordination to decrease sexual assault risk.

Additionally, TU has started a new online sexual violence prevention program for students, faculty and staff, with education programs for alcohol abuse and for specific student groups being added. Further attention will be given to education on alcohol use and binge drinking, all around a health and wellness orientation, Clancy says.

Clancy is currently working with stakeholders and administrators to finalize the university’s five-year strategic plan for 2017-2022. The plan will be unveiled in October. Work on the plan began in January and is rooted in research regarding the trends and forces affecting higher education, data regarding students’ job interest, and on benchmarking against a set of peer and competitor schools.

The plan is categorized by five objectives including promoting an inclusive, diverse and safe campus; improved access to TU through new scholarship opportunities; expansion of programs focused on emerging interest in innovation and social justice; and strengthening TU’s role as an economic engine for the Tulsa region.

Areas of focus include data analytics, leadership, health sciences, neuroscience, entrepreneurship and creating start-ups, cybersecurity for the U.S. military and the business sectors, coding, concurrent enrollment for high school students, and programs to recruit veterans.

As Clancy looks to the future, he sees TU’s trajectory continuing upward to create a stronger university with quality programs, greater accessibility and a welcoming, safe campus.

“When you think about great cities, every great city has a great university,” he says.

Updated 09-11-2017

Back to Top


email (we never post emails)
  Textile Help

Back to Top

Contact GTR News