Historically academic research has been divided into basic or curiosity-driven research and applied or mission-oriented research. Generally the basic researcher strives to advance the frontiers of human knowledge with a view to developing a world picture in which all elements of human knowledge cohere. Generally the applied researcher strives for practical, usually rapid, benefits and proceeds, where possible, by using existing knowledge rather than by creating new knowledge.
These two approaches are almost always inextricably intertwined, with the basic researcher finding interesting new problems in the applied arena and the applied researcher advancing basic knowledge in pursuit of practical benefits. Our offerings at the masters’ level in Tulsa are largely designed to prepare students in applied study rather than in basic study. As a consequence our faculty will necessarily be closely attuned to the needs of the applied research. However, in developing research programs that include doctoral students, we anticipate that our faculty will continue to focus upon basic research as has long been the role of university faculty. Thus we have created a basic research agenda for Tulsa that is informed by local, state and national needs. Our strategic goal is to nurture research specializations at OU-Tulsa in areas where solving fundamental scholarly problems will also advance progress in solving debilitating social or economic problems.
We will employ several strategies to achieve this goal. In some cases we realize this model through centers. In other cases, individual researchers coalesce into teams to work on specific problems. While individual researchers continue to play a significant role in our research strategies, interdisciplinary research teams are the primary means by which we achieve our strategic goals.
Dean, Tulsa Graduate College