The meeting focused on the need to build communication and relationships on and off campus between TCU and the community.
The meeting was overseen by a panel of four faculty members, including Leo Munson, assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs; Larry Lauer, vice chancellor of marketing and communications; Jennifer Watson, professor of communication science and disorders; and Bob Seal, university librarian.
“We should not just be the university in Fort Worth; we should be the university of Fort Worth,” said Linda Moore, a social work professor.
Moore defined community relations as going into the community and providing a service. She said TCU’s best examples of this are Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic, Starpoint School and Kinderfrogs.
Moore suggested TCU follow the trend of many large universities and create a community service center, which would offer a variety of programs.
“The community could come here for athletic events, artistic events, educational opportunities and summer camps,” Moore said. “This would be our community emphasis on the university.”
The community service center would centralize the knowledge of the student, faculty and staff’s involvement in the area.
Eric Cox, a political science professor, said a solution to the lack of communication would be to hire a person whose sole responsibility would be to keep track of TCU’s interaction with the community.
“We need someone whose job it is to find out what’s going on,” Cox said.
Craig Elders, associate director of Student Affairs Information Services, said the attitude and perception of TCU by the community needs to change.
“We could go down the road a little bit and there is a certain city where fire hydrants are green and gold, the buildings are green and gold,” Elders said. “But the community never has that type of attitude in Fort Worth towards TCU.”
Elders said he does not think the community realizes there is about 8,000 students that leave campus every day and go out in the community and purchase goods.
While many had suggestions about how TCU could improve communication and relations with the community, Paulette Burns, an associate professor and director of Harris School of Nursing, said the nursing school has taken initiative.
“The school of nursing is collaborating with the Dallas/Fort Worth hospital council, all the other schools of nursing and the hospital’s agencies to work on an innovative way of producing more nurses,” Barnes said.