The Department of Public Affairs and Economic Development, housed within the Office of the President, was created in November 2011, to serve as TU's primary portal for Government Relations, Economic Development Initiatives, Community Relations and Development, Community Service and Service Learning.

The responsibilities of the new department include:

  • Actively seeking government funding for university research, programs and activities.
  • Developing and implementing strategies for the university's coordinated response to challenges, threats and opportunities related to federal, state and local legislation and regulation.
  • Developing and implementing strategic partnerships with civic, business, education and philanthropic sectors as well as government at all levels for the benefit of the university including Gilcrease Museum, Downtown, and North campuses.
  • Directing and expanding True Blue Neighbors (TBN), the university's coordinating arm for a robust student, faculty and staff volunteer clearinghouse, to a community service, research and development center.

A work in progress, this expansion of TBN delivers on the board's affirmation that community service is part of the university's DNA.

Two key points of pride for TBN include:

  • TBN's 3,525 students, faculty and staff volunteered 29,105 hours in the 2010-2011 school year providing the Tulsa community with the equivalent of $622,964.00 in service.
  • Our newest partnership managing the TBN afterschool program at Kendall-Whittier Elementary providing academic instruction as well as health and wellness support for 55 neighborhood children.