Distinguished OSU-Tulsa adjunct professor is mainstay in Spears School of Business
When it comes to adjunct professors, it’s hard to find one that’s both qualified and passionate about the position. That’s where OSU-Tulsa business law lecturer Tara Urich stands out.
In 2001, she joined Oklahoma State University in Stillwater as an accounting instructor. When a full-time lecturer position in business law opened up at OSU-Tulsa, she jumped at the opportunity and has been with the university ever since.
“Business law is really my passion. I was ready to teach about what I love,” Urich says.
Urich is a constant in the OSU Spears School of Business, garnering a steady stream of good reviews from her students every year. In fact, she has so distinguished herself that she was honored with the university’s inaugural Excellence in Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty in 2018.
“I was surprised to receive that award. I wondered, ‘How did they even know about me?’” she says.
For many, being an adjunct instructor is a part-time gig outside of their “real” full-time job. They are paid per course and often work as an adjunct at several colleges. But Urich is paid yearly as a full-time lecturer.
Universities often have difficulty hiring and retaining adjunct instructors because, as non-tenured faculty, they are paid less than those with tenure. Yet the qualifications for adjuncts are typically just as high as for tenured faculty.
Urich’s credentials are exceptional. She grew up in Los Angeles and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She earned a juris doctorate degree at Southwestern University School of Law in LA, followed by a master’s degree in tax law from Boston University.
Every semester, Urich teaches two sections of business law, a required course for every OSU business major. She also lectures on international law, business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
“Business law is not an easy class,” she says. “It is very structured and it touches on a lot of things regarding how law affects business.”
Urich’s passion is ensuring that business students are prepared for their careers from day one.
“My students have seen a purchase order and understand it. They have drafted an international business contract,” she says. “I really try to broaden the students’ perspectives and provide context within their education. I love what I do.”
Meanwhile, Urich is raising three sons in Tulsa. She feels fortunate to have made the move years ago from Los Angeles to Oklahoma.
“Tulsa has a great quality of life and a nice pace,” she says.
While her first love is UCLA, Urich has become a devoted Cowboy fan.
“I tell my boys that it’s okay for people to be Sooner fans. Everybody likes who they like,” Urich says. “But we like OSU.”
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