Schieffer College dean candidate visits campus, talks with students

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    The Bob Schieffer College of Communication is one step closer to finding its new leader.

    Dr. Kristie Bunton, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, visited TCU’s campus today.

    Bunton is one of two candidates to be the new dean of the Schieffer College of Communication. The current dean, Dr. David Whillock, is taking a new position as the associate provost for the Academy of Tomorrow initiatives.

    Bunton met with several students and faculty of the College of Communication to discuss her potential future as dean of the school. She pointed to how she would handle the role of dean.

    “I don’t think it’s the dean’s job to make the changes,” Bunton said. “In many ways, the dean is advocate, but the actual decisions and priorities, I think, has got to come from the faculty because they’re the people [students] work with on a daily basis.”

    Bunton also opened up the possibility for students to be part of the decision-making process for the future of the college.

    She suggested establishing a student council made up of students from the college’s four areas of study (journalism, strategic communication, communication studies and film, television & digital media) or leaders in student media.

    “I think there’s a role, and it would be very interesting for me if I were the dean, in communicating with students on a regular basis…about what is on our minds,” Bunton said.

    One of the main goals Bunton emphasized was strengthening the sense of community throughout the College of Communication.

    “It’s a transitional time for the college, and I think there are some questions the faculty needs to ask themselves: what’s the Schieffer College [going] to look like in the year 2020?” Bunton said.

    Bunton said the college needs to “fit the overall mission” of TCU while at the same time creating a sense of unity throughout the college.

    “How do we be that one college as opposed to four distinct programs, each of which has a string, but are there ways there can be some unifying elements?” Bunton said.

    Dr. Leroy Dorsey is the other candidate for the position and will be visiting TCU on Monday.

    Dorsey will visit with students of the Schieffer College in room 164 in Moudy Building South. Dorsey will then be at an open forum at 2:15 p.m. in the Mary Couts Burnett Library in conference room B29.