Dr. Gerard Clancy, University Of Tulsa | Tulsa COG2019
Thank you, Clint, and thank you for putting on this event. It’s great to pull it all together like this. I’ve had the pleasure of living in Tulsa now for 19 years and these past 10 years we’ve really seen a wonderful renaissance of this town. The downtown is revitalized, the river is revitalized. The Gathering Place is up and running. We’ve become to a great place for startup companies, but yet we’re still very, very affordable. And when you travel to the East and West coast, you see that crush of traffic and costs and all the stuff. This is such a wonderful place. We are set up for greatness as a city when we look to the future. The University of Tulsa is 125 years old this year. And we’re really looking to the future of what should we be, how should we be operating over the next 125 years. And the work that we’re talking about today is very central to the future of the University of Tulsa as well.
We are, though, needing to respond to some changes in our demographics. The birth rate in America has been on the decline for quite some time and it took a big dip in 2007. In 2007, after the Great Recession, there was a 20% decline in the birth rate in America. You add 18 years to 2007 and you have 2025. In 2025, we will start to see a 20% drop in high school students graduating in America and a 20% drop in high school students going to college in America. 2029, we will have a 20% drop in college graduates in America. That’s a huge deal for every city as far as talent — especially with 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day in America.
Now is the time for Tulsa to focus its business laser right on what can we do next? What new sectors can we develop in Tulsa so that we can compete as a city? And the University of Tulsa is going to be right in the middle of it because it’s cyber. The need for 350,000 jobs in cyber. We’ve been doing cyber for 20 years. We were in very, very early. We’re proud to say that by a factor of three, we have the greatest number of cyber experts working in Washington DC on our national defense. We’re just a handful of universities that have the National Security Agency Center of Excellence Certification in teaching, research, and operations. We’re very strong at that. But the sector that is available to us here in Tulsa is to move that into the commercialization side of cyber and move that into the business development side of cyber.
So, I’m out here today recruiting. We have a brand new scholarship program funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation for Masters and PhDs in Cyber Commercialization with the Team8 Organization. You can go to the University of Tulsa and get your Masters or your Ph.D. for free and a $30,000 stipend and a $20,000 stay bonus if you stay in Tulsa after you graduate and work in this space. I have handouts. Come and get them. Let’s go.