The University of Tulsa has named Kathy Taylor, J.D., an accomplished leader, business executive and corporate attorney, as interim dean of the Collins College of Business, effective July 1. As TU continues its national search for the next permanent dean with the assistance of Korn Ferry consultants, Taylor will provide leadership to the college with a focus on student success and the key initiatives outlined in the university strategic plan.
“Kathy has a consistent record of transformational change, and she has proven leadership in both the public and private sectors,” said TU President-elect Brad Carson. “Throughout her career in business, law and public service, she has been a tireless advocate for education and entrepreneurship as well as diversity, equity and inclusion, all of which position her well to serve as our interim dean. I am certain our students will be the greatest beneficiaries of Kathy’s wealth of knowledge and extensive connections in business and industry.”
“TU is truly THE University of Tulsa. With my unwavering commitment to Tulsa, the people and the business community, I am truly honored to lead the Collins College of Business,” Taylor said. “During this period of transition, I am committed to partnering with the faculty, staff and students as we continue to grow in new ways.”
In addition to Taylor’s service as Oklahoma’s secretary of commerce and mayor of Tulsa, she has served on several corporate boards, including Sonic Corp., Bank of Oklahoma, National Car Rental and Dollar Car Rental, as well as on various boards for professional and nonprofit organizations. She is currently active on the boards of the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority; 36oN, a basecamp for entrepreneurs; StitchCrew, a business accelerator; the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation; and VEST, a network for expanding the pipeline of women in positions of influence.
“With the rapidly changing nature of technology, the way we work and the way the global economy is going to organize post-pandemic, we want to ensure we are looking at the broadest candidate pool possible for TU’s next permanent dean,” said TU Interim President Janet Levit. “Kathy’s experience in business, law and public service makes her an excellent choice to navigate this transition.”
Senior Associate Dean Ralph Jackson has been serving as interim dean since the departure of former dean Linda Nichols who left Tulsa in 2020 to serve as dean of the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “Ralph has done a terrific job stewarding the business school during the past year,” Carson said, “and the entire TU community owes him tremendous thanks for his service.”
Taylor earned a J.D. and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She was the inaugural recipient of the Order of the Owl, the highest honor bestowed by the OU College of Law. Taylor was a resident fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School Institute of Politics and holds honorary doctoral degrees from The University of Tulsa and Old Dominion University.