The decision to rename the College of Communication to honor TCU alumnus Bob Schieffer is the start of realignment of the departments within the college.
The newly christened Schieffer College of Communication better aligns the college with TCU’s other schools and colleges, Chancellor Victor Boschini said.
The Board of Trustees’ unanimous decision comes nine years after the school of journalism was named for Schieffer. In June, the Schieffer School of Journalism was named the Schieffer School of Journalism and Strategic Communication.
“I am not just thrilled, I am honored,” said Schieffer, who is chief Washington correspondent for CBS and host of Face the Nation. “This is a real vote of confidence from TCU’s leadership and the board of trustees.”
Three distinct departments, which take up the three floors of the Moudy South building consist of the department of communication studies, FTDM and the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication.
Boschini said the alignment leads to better integration of resources for students and will result in more well-rounded graduates from the newly named college.
David Whillock, dean of the Schieffer College of Communication, said he is optimistic about the change and thrilled about new opportunities for students.
“In communication especially, change is a constant. That is the thing we all have to embrace, if we don’t, we are not going to serve our students well,” he said.
Whillock said the change opens the door to a tremendous amount of possibilities in regards to collaboration between different departments within the college.
He said the collaboration would allow students to expand their skill sets and share ideas and exchange stories.
Whillock is not very found of departments because they put up walls. He said it would be great if the college can break down some of these walls and begin to integrate knowledge from all sorts of levels.
“The same processes we do in film, television and digital media are the same processes we do in journalism,” he said. “Whether you are telling a story that is fictional or telling a story that is factual, the process of doing it is close to identical.”
John Lumpkin, director of the school of journalism, said changes in accreditation standards for journalism and mass communication now make it more possible for students to take classes from different departments within the Schieffer College of Communication.
He said this is a great day for journalism and strategic communication at TCU, as well as the college.
“It puts our college in the mainstream of the best examples in higher education of our school’s two divisions, with the college which they comprise now carrying the name of our strongest advocate and supporter,” he said.
Changes to curriculum will not take effect immediately. Whillock said concrete changes take time, as new ideas are still being discussed within departments.
“Today is only change of the name,” he said. But, we have opened up the windshield wider, with opportunities coming in.”