Texas Christian University President Daniel Pullin’s signature look consists of a suit, tie and purple Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.
Pullin’s shoes not only show his Horned Frog spirit, but also help him carry out the leadership role he strives to fulfill. He says he wears them so he can comfortably walk around campus, to “be a student all over again” — a way for him to be accessible and approachable.
“I think I’m a better president when I’m not in my office and I’m out and about on campus,” he said. “I’m listening, I’m building relationships, so that I can make more informed decisions.”
Pullin was formally inducted as president at his recent ceremonial investiture held in Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU. He was appointed as the university’s first president under Chancellor Victor Boschini in February, after serving as the dean of the TCU Neeley School of Business for nearly four years.
“The entire TCU community was able to witness his outstanding leadership and learn a lot about him,” Boschini said. “Now that he is our president, I’ve seen all of these attributes firsthand and more.”
Pullin’s new chapter takes place during a historic time, as the university celebrates its 150th anniversary.
“It’s a special opportunity, at a special moment, at a special place to move into this position when we are both honoring and learning from the past,” Pullin said. “Marking time to gaze ahead for the next 150 years is exciting to me.”
Pullin’s vision for the university’s future revolves around maintaining sustainability — or, put in another way, to be around for another 150 years, he said.
His plans include investing in academic quality, student success and employer friendliness, as well as establishing TCU as a destination institution that attracts world-class faculty, talented staff and aspirational students.
“TCU is no longer the best-kept secret in higher education,” Pullin said. “We’ve really risen to a level of national prominence, and I think it presents a moment for us to continue to set our aspirations even higher.”
Pullin’s approach to his leadership plans comes from what he believes is the most important quality in a leader: courage.
“Having the courage and discipline to listen to the ideas of others really positions leaders to have the best information from which to make decisions,” he said.
Pullin says he hopes to continue leading with courage by making time to listen to the TCU community’s aspirations — one purple step at a time.
Sara Honda is the audience engagement and social media fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.