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TULSA – Tulsa Higher Education Consortium (THE Consortium) on Tuesday announced Dr. Laura Latta, accomplished educator and Tulsa community leader, will lead the organization as Founding Executive Director.

Latta will highlight the history and strategic focus of the Consortium in her keynote address at the 2021 Tulsa Regional Chamber State of Education on July 22.

“We are excited to have Dr. Latta as the new Executive Director of the Tulsa Higher Education Consortium,” said Dr. Susan Johnson, OSU-Tulsa Associate Provost and Chair of the Tulsa Higher Education Consortium. “The experience she gained in her role as the Director of Postsecondary Partnerships and Research for ImpactTulsa, as well as the relationships she built with higher education institutions, will be valuable as the THE Consortium is launched. There is important work to be done and Dr. Latta is a great choice to lead this endeavor.”

THE Consortium is a multi-institutional effort committed to advancing student learning, improving student success and degree completion, achieving equity in outcomes, and meeting workforce needs by working collaboratively to increase higher education opportunities in the region, according to a media release.

“In my role as Executive Director of the THE Consortium, I look forward to working alongside Tulsa-area colleges and universities to make pathways to opportunity for degree completion more evident, seamless, and accessible to all students,” Latta said. “The Consortium seeks to align with the powerful efforts of higher education institutions to improve the experiences of students in the region while serving as a unifying and coordinating entity for all member institutions. Streamlining the process of getting a four-year degree in Tulsa is a critical step in unlocking new possibilities for Tulsans.”

Latta is a dedicated educator with experience in early childhood through postsecondary instructional leadership, cross-sector community development, and education research design and analytics. A lifelong Tulsan, Latta has committed her entire career to education and has held leadership roles as an award-winning teacher, professor, school administrator, community coordinator, researcher, and nonprofit director.

Throughout her career, Latta has used her experience to bring together leaders in education, business, civic and community organizations to work collaboratively toward high quality education and equitable access to learning opportunities for all students from early childhood through postsecondary.

Latta holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum from the University of Oklahoma and is a published researcher. As an adjunct professor of Education at OU-Tulsa, she upholds a deep commitment to train and prepare the next generation of educators.

Latta also serves on area advisory boards and committees including Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance, OSU-Tulsa, Tulsa Community College, and Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab- Little Lab. She also serves as an Education subcommittee member for the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women (City of Tulsa).

Since 2018, seven Tulsa-area higher education institutions – Tulsa Community College, Langston University – Tulsa, Northeastern State University, Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, Rogers State University, University of Oklahoma – Tulsa, and the University of Tulsa, have been collaborating through a collective effort known as the Tulsa Transfer Project to improve the experience of students transferring from Tulsa Community College to a university in the region.

As a result of this collaboration, the presidents of these seven institutions launched the Tulsa Higher Education Task Force in April 2020 to develop a formal organizational structure that will leverage shared institutional resources and facilitate seamless academic and social experiences for students pursuing baccalaureate degrees in the Tulsa region. The Task Force was composed of 28 members representing each of the seven institutions, as well as community and educational organizations such as ImpactTulsa, the City of Tulsa, Tulsa Community Foundation, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The 2020 Tulsa Higher Education Task Force Report highlights the work of the task force and the strategic priorities for the THE Consortium. The Tulsa Higher Education Consortium is made possible through the support of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

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