AD Search: Game Is On for New Athletics Director
Arcadia University’s Blue Ribbon Search Committee for the next Director of Athletics met Thursday, Feb. 16, to prepare the job description. A very diverse group, covering many years, sports and academic programs, the Committee reached quick and unanimous conclusion that the Athletic Director will be responsible for sustaining and further developing Arcadia University’s culture of educational excellence, sportsmanship, community service, professionalism, ethics and respect at all levels … and winning some championships!
Comprised of two students, three coaches, alumni, faculty and staff, the committee can articulate goals from multiple facets of the Arcadia community. The balance was necessary to insure the new Athletic Director would also represent the University to the community and the alumni, and collaborate with the Offices of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Alumni Relations, University Advancement and others on campus to enhance recruiting and student retention in helping to achieve Arcadia University’s mission and aid in the University’s growth and prosperity.
The role of athletics goes beyond physical endurance, especially in a university setting. “What we are looking for in our students,” says President Oxholm, “is mens san in corpore sanoo—a strong mind in a strong body.” Candidates will need to demonstrate a clear knowledge of and appreciation for the traditions of excellence, resurgence and importance of athletics at Beaver/Arcadia, including conference affiliation and recent and projected University growth.
According to the Committee co-chairs, Professor Annette Halpin (Business) and Vice President Mark Lapreziosa (Enrollment Management), a successful intercollegiate and recreational sports program has the potential of increasing Arcadia’s student energy and providing an exciting new dimension for prospective students and alumni. In respect for these responsibilities, the committee is looking for potential directors that would also work with the campus community to create an enthusiastic environment at all contests. They would likewise support student leadership and oversee Arcadia University’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee and show a commitment to academic success of student athletes by working collaboratively with other curricular and cocurricular educators and programs to assist in creating a holistic, comprehensive, global academic experience and learning environment.
“We can use athletics to recruit successful students,” says Justin Scott, the Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach and Athletic Academic Coordinator. “And our athletes’ high GPAs prove that our athletic programs support them in the classrooms and labs.”
Rob Nydick, Head Coach of the Men’s Soccer team and member of the committee agrees with Scott’s hope for athletics to refine incoming talent. He recognizes the importance of athletics surpasses recruitment though, even for a small university.
“Athletics are a source of pride,” says Nydick. “It’s an outlet for students to support their friends, and a structure for student athletes to rely on academically, physically, and competitively.”
“When athletics are successful, good things always follow,” says Nydick, sure of a new director’s impact on the university.
The committee sees growth within athletics as an integral element to a successful university, noting that a commitment to winning attracts top-notch student athletes, consequently improving the campus community. Athletics give members of the community a chance to connect with the institution and feel apart if it. For non student-athletes, athletics events encourage school spirit through the continued support of fellow classmates.
A new Athletic Director means more attention towards a growing program at Arcadia University, a growth well received by the committee, student athletes and their colleagues.