Daniel Pullin began his new role as TCU President in February 2023. In this introductory video, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. asks President Pullin about his favorite aspects of TCU. Read below the video for a follow up Q&A with TCU News.
What are some of your first impressions as President?
One of my first impressions is the incredible, shared enthusiasm for the next 150 years of our university. Here we are, celebrating what’s come before us and the incredible goodness we’re experiencing in the present, but I’m really struck by how much I’m hearing our community talk about the next 150 years. It’s invigorating, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
What is a TCU quality that you want to make sure is preserved?
I think it’s the way we care for our students, the way we listen to them, the way we empower them to be not only great scholars, but leaders. When we make decisions, we always go back the best interest of a student as our core value. That’s been the key to our success as an institution. I can’t think of a university that's come farther and faster in the last 20 years than TCU, and it’s because of that core value that we hold so dear – a value that is deeply important to Chancellor Boschini as well.
Will you still teach?
Yes. One of my favorite things about TCU is the openness for the institution to encourage our administrators to be in the classroom, to be a part of the product, so to speak. If you really think about where the rubber meets the road at a university, it’s the magic that happens in a classroom between a professor and their students. For me not to be a part of that, to not be at the epicenter of where value is created, I think would be an opportunity lost. Being in the classroom also will allow me to continue to listen to students and their ideas and make sure that the TCU experience is different from any other university in the country.
How will your role help support faculty and staff?
First of all, one of the university’s top four strategic goals is to strengthen our workforce. Across the board we have amazing faculty, both from a teaching perspective as well as their dedication to scholarly activity. Our teacher-scholar model is incredible, and we can attribute much of that to our outstanding faculty. We must invest in world-class faculty and the staff to support them. By the way, I can talk forever about our staff. We’ve been through some real challenges with the global pandemic and so many other things, and every day they did whatever it took to keep the lights on, to keep our students progressing through their degree programs, to make sure our faculty had the support they needed. I just couldn’t appreciate our staff and our faculty more.
We can tell you love TCU. Do you have a favorite place on campus?
I do. It’s not one that's been here for an especially a long time. It’s the Van Cliburn Concert Hall. It’s a place just to sit back and think and listen. Whether there’s a great performance underway, an inspirational class or even just vacant and quiet, I always feel connected to the soul of the university when I’m there. It makes me proud of where I am.
You sound like you have a special connection here. You’re a Texan, right?
Yes, I grew up in Plano, and it’s wonderful to be able to build a career back here in North Texas and to see so many familiar faces that have been influential in every chapter of my life. Economically, and in so many other ways, this part of the country is really significant. It is clear that Texas is going to have an outsized level of influence in the competitiveness of our nation as we look decades into the future. There’s no better place to be.
How has your background prepared you for your future?
Having served as a dean, interdisciplinary efforts were very important to me, and it’s an important part of our culture of connection. Those efforts allow colleges to connect more broadly with one another and implement ideas that only work in a cross-disciplinary environment. I think this role as president provides the opportunity to promote the best of TCU working together, thinking together, researching together, teaching together. Ultimately, it’s about graduating well-rounded students that are ready to add value when they graduate, that are going to make for strong alumni and proud citizens and really carry the TCU name into the future.