Welcome, Dean David D. Perlmutter

Dean David D. Perlmutter

Dear College of Media & Communication Red Raiders:

A few weeks ago I experienced the fourth happiest day in my life (after my marriage and the births of my two daughters): The provost of Texas Tech University offered me the position of dean of the College of Media & Communication.

My first response: Saddle up, ladies, we're going to Texas!

My joining the College of Media & Communication Red Raider family was not a surprise to me. In fact, you could say providence was in play. Almost two decades ago I started my academic career as an assistant professor at Louisiana State University. Among the people I met there was a truly remarkable gentleman who was a senior consultant and adviser to the school's dean. He hailed from West Texas and was a legend in communications program administration. He was wise, thoughtful, and carried a wagon train full of experience. He was also kind in demeanor and generous with his time to young faculty members. His name was Billy I. Ross.

Billy and I kept in touch, off and on, over the years. At the same time, I was hearing about the string of ever-more-impressive successes of his native program at Texas Tech University under the visionary and high-integrity leadership of Jerry C. Hudson: Becoming an independent college, building a highly productive faculty committed to students, growing hugely in enrollment, starting a Ph.D. program, and most recently moving into a refurbished building.

When I came to Lubbock for my campus interviews, my from-afar good impressions were confirmed. The head of the search committee, Dean Stephen Fritz of the Honors College, said, "Texas Tech is on a roll." Indeed, that was obvious. Whereas on most college campuses today the mood is hesitant, grim or defeatist, I found at Texas Tech a refreshingly bold, ambitious spirit. I love to recount meeting the chancellor for the first time; he mentioned "winning" and "conquering" and "dreaming big" so much, I thought he must be interviewing me for head football coach! (As you may know, I did not get that job.)

Well, everyone else I met—from undergraduate and graduate students to alumni to college faculty and staff to other deans and administrators (including our new president)—exuded the same can do, "let's conquer the next mountain" attitude. I became convinced that the College of Media & Communication deanship was the best job on earth for me.

So thank you, Texas Tech.

Of course, getting the job is only my entrance ticket. As we routinely tell our students, you have to prove your hire at work every day. When Charlene Stark, head of the Advisory Board, and I first talked, she asked, "What would you like me to call you?" I joked, "Why not Tex?" She paused then said, "Son, you're going to have to earn that."

I know it. There are big challenges to come. A communications school, like a shark, must keep moving forward; if we aren't innovating we are stagnating. But I believe we have the foundations to build whatever our dreams conceive—with the partnership of the university and our alumni.

I look forward to the adventure we are going to have together. Stay tuned!

David D. Perlmutter
Professor and Dean of the College of Media & Communication

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