College of communication dean to step down after spring

The story has been updated to reflect the proper position Whillock held in what is now called the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, to correct the spelling of Whillock’s name, to correct the title of the Bob Schieffer College of Communication and to correct when Whillock began serving as dean. 

A big change is coming to the Moudy South building.

In an email to Bob Schieffer College of Communication faculty and staff Wednesday, long-time Dean David Whillock announced he will be will be stepping down.

Whillock has accepted a new position as the associate provost for the Academy of Tomorrow initiatives. He has been at TCU since 1991. He served as the chairman of what is now the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media from 1995 to 1999 and as interim dean of the college of communication from 1999 to 2002.  He has served as dean since 2008. 

“When I came here, I thought I’d be here for five years—I’ve been here 23 years because something’s working,” Whillock said. “I love the faculty I’ve worked with. The students are wonderful. I have seen a real growth mentally, intellectually, just more mature than I did when I first got here.”

The college will begin searching for his replacement immediately. 

“There will be a faculty committee that is made up of members of this college and some outside people and students who will sit on a committee and look at applications and go from there,” Whillock said.

Whillock will step down at the end of the spring semester. He said the college will have a replacement by June 1.

“Our desire is definitely [to] reach as far as we can and find the best person possible, no matter where they are from, and no matter who they are, and bring the best person, the best match,” Whillock said. “[We want] a dean who can do a variety of things and bring a good reputation to TCU. “

Whillock said he is not sure if his successor will come from within or outside TCU.

“I have all sorts of names in my head, but nobody has applied,” Whillock said. “The beauty of this process is we start with a clean slate.”

The transition between deans should move quickly, said Whillock.

“I think there will be anxiety, but there will also be excitement. I hope that the excitement way outruns the anxiety,” Whillock said. “Frankly, I think this is a grand opportunity to bring somebody from the outside in, with ideas that have been out there that see TCU for the gem that it is and can really just pick up to speed.”

Whillock said he will miss being part of the college of communication. 

“I’m close to the alumni of this college and I’m going to miss that part, but I’m still going to stay in touch the best that I can,” Whillock said. “Students are why I’m here, they keep me thinking and I just love the students being here, but it’s time for me to take on a bigger role. It was time for a change.”

He is excited to become part of the Academy of Tomorrow initiative, Whillock said.

“I can have bigger ideas for more people,” Whillock said. “It really means an opportunity to work with the university overall.”