LUBBOCK, Texas — It is hard to talk about Texas Tech University without Bill Dean, Ed.D. The renowned professor announced he would retire at the beginning of June.
The professor has taught generations of students over his several decades at the university. Many of the classes he has taught were in the Texas Tech College of Media & Communications.
He has impacted thousands of lives inside and outside the classroom. His humble demeanor and energetic methods are eternally cherished by those he instructed, like Texas Tech graduate Layne Mims.
Mims said she has countless fond memories with the witty Dean. He taught her first class in college, and it was her introduction to the university. According to Mims, it was exactly what she needed at the time.
“First thing he said as he pointed to the back row–there was probably only three or four of us back there– ‘I don’t have people sitting in the back row in my class.’ I remember being mortified,” said Mims.
The professor’s compassion and love for teaching inspired admiration from his students and respect from his colleagues.
“What students and parents hope they’ll encounter when they go to college,” said Peaslee. “An exemplar who knows how to approach life with the right mindset, character and empathy. Bill Dean is all that and more.”
Dean has dedicated his life to higher education and teaching the importance of the elements of writing. But more than that, he treated his students as individuals.
“One thing I think is important– said by a college professor named Carry Southall — don’t forget that you’re teaching not just subjects, but you’re teaching students as well,” said Dean. “And I’ve tried to keep that in the forefront of things.”
While the decision to retire wasn’t an easy one to make, Dean said it felt like the right time. He will still teach one class in the fall, but he is taking a big step back from teaching.
He has been such a vital part of the growth of Texas Tech, and those who sat in his classroom said his retirement is bittersweet.
“If anyone has earned the right to take a break, kick their feet up, and take a look back at their legacy,” said Mims. “And who they have inspired, I think Dr. Dean is definitely the man who has the right to do that.”