Dean candidates set to visit university

Dean candidates set to visit university

Three candidates for the dean of the College of Communication position will be given open forums to present their ideas for the college to the university community to fulfill part of the hiring process starting Wednesday.

After one of the four candidates for the position removed her name from the list of those being considered, the dean-hiring process will continue for the remaining three candidates, said John Tisdale, chairman of the search committee and associate professor of journalism.

Tisdale said Maria Marron, professor and chair of the journalism department at Central Michigan University, withdrew for personal reasons unrelated to TCU.

He said the committee is still enthusiastic about the remaining candidates, who are Howard Sypher, head of the communication department at Purdue University, Judy VanSlyke Turk, director of the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, and David Whillock, radio-TV-film professor and associate dean to the College of Communication at TCU.

“We all felt really strongly about the four candidates we had,” Tisdale said. “We are excited about the three that are still in play.”

Each hopeful will be given 30 minutes for a presentation and another 30 minutes for a question-and-answer session.

Sypher said he expects the candidates will talk about everything from budgets to strategic plans to experiences related to being an administrator.

He said it is important for TCU to find the best person to be dean, regardless of what part of the field or profession he or she comes from. Finding someone who is capable of supporting good ideas from a range of faculty, students, alumni and community constituents is a key factor, he said.

“I think it’s really important that everyone has an idea of where a dean stands on various issues and what kind of person they are,” Sypher said.

Turk said she will address the need for the College of Communication to anticipate and respond to the transformation that is occurring in the media and communication industries and disciplines.

Whillock said the issues he feels need to be addressed are overcrowding in the school, the faculty/staff ratio, equipment needs and strategic plans. He said he thinks TCU is looking for a dean that will help with fundraising and promoting the school’s potential success rate. He said it is important to work closely with the Schieffer School of Journalism to get the name out to the public.

“An advantage I have is that I have been here and served as dean before, but TCU may be looking for potential new blood,” Whillock said.

Staff reporter Valerie Hannon contributed to this report.