Associate dean selected to fill dean vacancy in College of Communication


    The search for the new dean of the College of Communication ended Tuesday.

    David Whillock, associate dean of the college, said he has been chosen to serve as the new dean starting June 1, taking over for William Slater, who is stepping down to go on a yearlong sabbatical.

    John Tisdale, chairman of the dean-search committee and associate professor of journalism, said the committee had three strong candidates with distinct personalities that could each bring something different to the college. Whillock was chosen over finalists Howard Sypher, head of the communication department at Purdue University, and Judy VanSlyke Turk, director of the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Tisdale said the committee met with the provost Tuesday morning to discuss all the information they had gathered about the candidates since January.

    “The decision was made quickly, but not hastily,” he said. “This decision is a byproduct of a lot of time and work by people who have TCU’s best interest in mind.”

    Because Whillock has been interim and associate dean, he understands the mechanics of the college, Tisdale said.

    “He was able to articulate a vision for the school that I believe impressed the committee,” he said.

    As the process of finding a dean evolved, it became apparent to most of the committee that Whillock could become a successful dean, Tisdale said.

    “The committee almost overwhelmingly recommended Dr. Whillock,” he said.

    Whillock said he has seen the evolution of the college and has a good understanding of what needs to be addressed to help the college grow. He said he wants to have a meeting with faculty and staff right away to discuss goals and desires for the college.

    “I am excited about the possibilities. The news is still sinking in,” Whillock said.

    Some of the first issues he hopes to address are enrollment management, hiring more faculty, space issues and finding a new associate dean, Whillock said.

    Whillock received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1986 and came to TCU in 1991 as a radio-TV-film professor. He was department chair from 1995 to 1999 and was promoted to interim dean of the College of Communication in 1999 before he was hired as the current associate dean in 2002.