Southwestern University is seeking a new director of intercollegiate athletics responsible for providing vision, leadership, and direction in coordinating a comprehensive athletic program. The director sets goals and implements strategies for the department, including developing effective recruitment and retention goals and objectives and strategies to enhance the relationship between and among the academic experience of student-athletes. The director fosters principles that encourage integrity, student well-being, diversity, and inclusiveness while promoting an environment of excellence and success. 

The NCAA Division III Southwestern University “Pirates” is a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), American Southwest Conference (ASC) for football, and the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference for men’s lacrosse. In fall 2023, Southwestern joins the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) for football.

Southwestern University is a selective undergraduate institution committed to broad-based liberal arts, sciences, and fine arts education. Southwestern currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 11: 1. In addition to several other national organizations, Southwestern University is a member of two consortia of liberal arts colleges, the Associated Colleges of the South and the Annapolis Group. Southwestern has joined the recently formed Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance. In addition to being named Texas’ leading liberal arts college by publications and ranking services, Southwestern is also a “Best Buy” and boasts a nationally ranked Office of Career Services. Located in Georgetown, Texas, 28 miles north of downtown Austin, Southwestern is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  

 

The Position

ROLE OF THE POSITION

The director of intercollegiate athletics is responsible for organizing and administering all aspects of the university’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program. Responsibilities include but are not limited to supervision of professional staff and coaches, compliance and governance of institution, conference, and NCAA rules and Title IX regulations, management of departmental programs and resources, budget development and oversight, strategic planning, community relations, and facilities. This oversight includes attention to the role of athletics in the student experience and persistence, university priorities of diversity, access, equity, and belonging, university recruitment and retention, and oversight of fitness and recreational activities (FRA) program scheduling, which requires all Southwestern students to complete two credits for graduation. Reporting to the vice president for strategic recruitment and enrollment, the director is a member of the Enrollment Services Leadership Team. The director leads a department comprising 20 varsity sports, over 50 professional coaches and staff, 500 scholar-athletes, and a $1.5 million budget.

The director assumes responsibility for enhancing the competitiveness of a Division III intercollegiate athletics program found within an academically rigorous liberal arts-centered learning environment. The director will work collaboratively with coaches and the admissions office on recruiting scholar-athletes, continue to develop relationships with alumni, particularly in support of the athletics program, and encourage and promote an equitable and inclusive community among all students, faculty, and staff. The successful candidate will be a steadfast collaborator and educator. As a senior member within the Division of Enrollment Services, the director collaborates dynamically with key stakeholders such as Academic Affairs and Paideia, Student Life and Mosaic, Finance and Administration, Facilities Management, Financial Aid, Admissions, Campus Recreation, University Relations, and Integrated Communications.

 

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

A master’s degree and ten years of significant, progressive professional experience leading a complex, dynamic, and diverse department are required. The successful candidate will possess a comprehensive understanding of intercollegiate athletics administration, scholar-athlete development, NCAA compliance within a Division III environment, and the role of fundraising in supporting strategic and operating objectives. The next director should have the ability to mentor and inspire the professional development of coaches and athletics administrators, a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social responsibility, an understanding of the role of enrollment at a small, private university, and demonstrated strategic planning acumen. A collaborative management approach, superior communication and relationship-building skills, strong planning and fiscal competencies, familiarity with program development and assessment, and excellent problem-solving abilities are also desired. Experience within a liberal arts institution, collegiate-level coaching, and director-level experience are preferred.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, institutional stakeholders identified the following list of additional capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:

  • Significant understanding of NCAA Division III athletics in program needs, compliance requirements, university rules and regulations, and Title IX regulations
  • Commitment to an intercollegiate athletics program that operates with the highest integrity and is focused on the holistic development of its student-athletes
  • Transformative energy that builds a dynamic and cohesive unit of staff, coaches, and student-athletes
  • Experience developing a department mission, vision, and culture that embraces a holistic and equitable understanding of program success and supports a competitive environment
  • Understands the value of continuing education, training, evaluation, and professional development for staff and coaches
  • Successful change management experience grounded in clear communication
  • Ability to motivate and inspire others
  • Visibility and presence within the Southwestern community
  • Supports and celebrates the diversity of the university community and the richness of the educational and co-curricular experience
  • Collaborative and adaptable mindset, equipped to respond to changing dynamics
  • Advocacy of equitable student-athlete experiences and developed ways to amplify the voice of students
  • Passion for Southwestern and athletics that can translate into fundraising and “friend-raising”
  • Collaborative and focused capacity to build relationships and partnerships across campus
  • Support for the institution’s academic mission and student-athletes and an understanding of the intersection of athletics and academics
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Exhibited ability to lead, collaborate with, and motivate a diverse community
  • Ability to build bridges as a dynamic, responsive, thoughtful, and articulate communicator
  • Demonstrated spirit of creativity and innovation
  • An ability to establish credibility with the faculty and actively support the values of a liberal arts education.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

Dr. Glada Munt was named head women’s volleyball and tennis coach in 1975, and associate vice president for athletics in 1995; she led the program until her retirement in the fall of 2019. In 2001 Glenn Schwab joined Southwestern as the head athletic trainer, and in 2012 was named associate athletics director. Schwab is currently the interim director of athletics and will transition to the associate director position upon the conclusion of the national search for Southwestern’s next director of intercollegiate athletics.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

Southwestern is dedicated to finding a dynamic and visionary individual who can promote and develop the athletics staff, set departmental priorities, and work in tandem with senior administrators and department staff to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move athletics forward. The following were identified as possible opportunities, priorities, and challenges that will face the new director of intercollegiate athletics at Southwestern:

  • Create a vision and identity for Pirates athletics. The next director will create a clear and unified departmental vision, mission, and brand by working with a successful and engaged coaching and administrative staff. There should be clear and measurable definitions of success that promote competitiveness, student leadership development, and institutional student success priorities at a selective liberal arts institution that is reflective of both the institutional mission and the goals of the NCAA Division III. Staff should feel encouraged, challenged, supported, and confident about how they contribute to the vision.
  • Inspired leadership. The next director will be a proven supervisor, mentor, and leader who can build cohesion and culture for the athletics department by establishing clear expectations and open communication and providing effective feedback while navigating a multi-faceted athletics operation with sound fiscal, supervisory, facilities, and operations management. The director will develop a strong sense of team among staff and build working relationships that emphasize collaboration, consistency, and equity.
  • Focus on strategic planning. The next director will lead short-term and long-term planning on the role athletics play in shaping a dynamic student experience. The next director will lead conversations around organizational structure, intercollegiate program expansion and sustained feasibility, strategic athletic conference alignment, revenue generation, deferred maintenance and facilities improvements, and community partnerships, positioning Pirates athletics for years to come.
  • Leadership around Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity (DIBE). The next director will continue to initiate and support institutional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion by furthering the university’s Tactical Plan, initiating a departmental Title IX audit, leading departmental conversations for staff and scholar-athletes, promoting training and staff development, and cultivating an equity-minded departmental culture.
  • Fundraising and alumni development. A passionate storyteller, the next director will champion strategic partnerships with university relations and alumni and the continued cultivation and stewardship of the Pirates executive committee. They will strengthen relationships with alumni student-athletes and parents to further nurture and encourage their continued relationship with Southwestern.
  • Strategic recruiting. The next director will partner with the office of admission and enrollment services to recruit and retain scholar-athletes of distinguished academic capacity representative of the campus-wide diversity and inclusion goals, and optimize roster management and athletics department objectives. The director will significantly contribute to the enrollment services senior leadership team.
  • Athletics and recreation as campus and community partner. With a highly relational and communicative nature, the next director will strengthen communication and collaboration between athletics and the larger institution—academic affairs, student life, facilities, etc.—and the greater Georgetown community with a particular focus on increasing efficiencies and opportunities that further support the scholar-athlete experience as part of a synergistic student experience.

 

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

In May 2022, the department of athletics became a direct report to the vice president for strategic enrollment and enrollment. This reporting structure shift was made with an eye toward enhanced recruitment and retention strategy in conjunction with athletic conference re-alignment and in preparation for a capital campaign that will include enhancements to athletic and recreational facilities. Additionally, Southwestern athletics recently completed an external review process, with a final report and recommendations to be shared with the new director upon arrival. With recommendations in hand, the new director will strategically work with others to develop and implement a vision and inspire the scholar-athletes, campus community, and alumni to come together to accomplish shared goals for the future.

At an appropriate interval after joining Southwestern, the following items will initially define success for the new director:

  • The director has demonstrated a leadership style that is credible and collegial while being highly effective.
  • Athletics staff can articulate a shared vision and mission and feel valued as members of the team. They see that communication throughout the department has increased in both quality and quantity.
  • The director has assessed the current environment with the athletics staff and begun to define a comprehensive and equity-minded vision, mission, and plan for the future.
  • The director has defined, illustrated, and demonstrated internally and externally an understanding of competitiveness and scholar-athlete success that is reflective of the Southwestern mission and the goals of the NCAA Division III.
  • The director inspires excellence and strengthens the opportunities within athletics with a focus on well-being and re-energized school spirit and traditions, and is inclusive of and seeks to engage all Southwestern students.
  • The director is a visible and highly accessible advocate for the coaches, staff, and programs.
  • Students see the new director as an approachable and accessible champion who supports programs and uses a student-centered orientation to build rapport with students and seeks their input.
  • The new director has established strong working relationships and partnerships with the enrollment services leadership team, student life leadership team, university relations, direct reports, scholar-athletes, faculty, alumni, Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), student government, and other key institutional stakeholders.
  • The director will have demonstrated the ability to manage change for short-term and long-term development for the department, including staffing, professional development, facilities management, and strategic capital planning.
  • The director has helped SAAC build campus relationships and think broadly about its role in supporting the university mission and the scholar-athlete experience.
  • The director actively engages with university relations and university leadership to support alumni engagement and fundraising initiatives aligned with the university and athletics departmental and strategic plans.
  • The director can articulate a passion and commitment to the mission of Southwestern, Pirates athletics, and student success and persistence by developing a culture of care and outreach.

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

Mission

The programs within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics promote the mission of Southwestern University by placing the highest priority on the academic success and overall quality of the educational experience of each student-athlete. By adhering to the NCAA Division III (DIII) philosophy, the Athletic Department strives to enable the integration of student-athletes with other students in the University’s community. A primary goal of the Athletic Department is for all aspects of its sports programs to reflect Southwestern’s commitment to the principles of amateur athletics and ethical conduct. The Athletic Department promotes sportsmanship by stressing civility, fairness, honesty, and respect toward teammates, officials, and opponents. Further, the Athletic Department emphasizes the health and welfare of its student-athletes. The Athletic Department endeavors to support the mission of the University by joining with efforts to implement programs and deliver services that provide fair and equitable treatment of all individuals and a values-centered education of the whole person.

Facilities

The Southwestern University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics utilizes and maintains several facilities for competition and administers 20 intercollegiate athletic programs.

Student-athlete advisory committee

The purpose of the SCAC student-athlete advisory committee is to provide student-athletes with an opportunity to present a student prospective to the leadership of the conference. It also provides for a student-athlete response to proposed NCAA or SCAC legislation and communication and networking to represent the interests of SCAC student-athletes.

The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference

The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) was formed to provide an association through which the member institutions may encourage organized competition in intercollegiate sports among teams representative of their respective student bodies. Members of this conference are committed to prioritizing the overall quality of academic standards and quality educational experiences.

SCAC member institutions are committed to sponsoring various varsity sports to maximize opportunities for student participation. SCAC schools also operate under the principle that participation in sports should be solely from student interest and enjoyment of athletic competition and that no financial aid shall be given to any student conditional upon athletic ability or participation in intercollegiate sports.

SCAC member institutions support students in their efforts to reach high levels of performance by providing them with adequate facilities, competent coaching, and appropriate competitive opportunities with students from similar institutions.

The SCAC is currently comprised of Austin College of Sherman, Texas; Centenary College of Shreveport, Louisiana; Colorado College of Colorado Springs, Colorado; University of Dallas of Irving, Texas; Schreiner University of Kerrville, Texas; Southwestern University of Georgetown, Texas; University of St. Thomas of Houston, Texas; Texas Lutheran University of Seguin, Texas; and Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas.

Southwestern University is an affiliate of The American Southwest Conference for football and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference for men’s lacrosse. Southwestern will join the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) for football in the fall of 2023.

Staff directory

LEADERSHIP

Thomas Delahunt – Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment

Thomas Delahunt joined the President’s Staff of Southwestern University in May 2018 with a track record of success in attracting talented students with diverse backgrounds while increasing enrollment, diversity, academic profile, and net tuition revenue at every Institution he has worked for throughout his career. Prior to becoming the Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment, Delahunt served as the Vice President for Enrollment at La Salle University (PA) and Drake University (IA) and also served as the Vice Provost at Iona College (NY). Earlier in his career, he spent time at St. Lawrence University (NY) and Utica College (NY).

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

LEADERSHIP

Laura Skandera Trombley – President

Laura Skandera Trombley, a gifted scholar, proven leader, and passionate advocate for liberal-arts education, is Southwestern University’s 16th President. She is the first woman chosen to lead Texas’s first university. Trombley’s leadership has earned praise for her ability to raise sustainability awareness, establish best-in-class university operations, and drive exponential growth in fundraising. Under her leadership, both Pitzer College and the University of Bridgeport experienced transformational change, realizing a dramatic improvement in the schools’ national rankings and fundraising capabilities.

 

MISSION, PURPOSE, and VALUES

Mission

Southwestern University, under the auspices of the United Methodist Church, is committed to undergraduate liberal education involving both the study of and participation in significant aspects of cultural heritage, expressed primarily through the arts, the sciences, the Institutions, and the professions of society. As a teaching and learning community, Southwestern encourages rigorous inquiry and scholarship, creative teaching, and the expression of free human life. The University seeks to involve the student in finding a personal and social direction for life, developing more sensitive methods of communication, cultivating those qualities and skills which make for personal and professional effectiveness, and learning to think clearly and make relevant judgments and discriminations.

Purpose

Fostering a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity.

Values

  • Cultivating academic excellence.
  • Promoting lifelong learning and a passion for intellectual and personal growth.
  • Fostering diverse perspectives.
  • Being true to oneself and others.
  • Respecting the worth and dignity of persons.
  • Encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good.

ACADEMICS

Paideia

Paideia is Southwestern’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to education—designed to develop the intellectual practice of identifying connections between the fundamental questions and ideas that shape our world. Paideia is a Greek word referring to the education of an ideal citizen well versed in the arts, the humanities, and the social and natural sciences and distinguished by an enlightened outlook born of the ability to see things from multiple perspectives.

All Southwestern students participate in Paideia experiences throughout the curriculum. The First-Year or Advanced-Entry Seminar introduces students to the practice of making connections, with a special focus on incorporating perspectives from multiple disciplines. All other courses explicitly acknowledge the connections between ideas within their own course material; many will point to intersections with other courses. All majors include an opportunity to consider how various skills and ideas connect across the department or program and culminate in a capstone experience. In addition to these integrated Paideia experiences, Southwestern encourages students to choose a more intensive Paideia path that includes elements above and beyond the graduation requirements for all students and leads to the designation of Paideia with Distinction.

https://www.southwestern.edu/about-southwestern/paideia/

Majors

Anthropology, Applied Physics, Art (Studio), Art History, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Communication Studies, Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, Financial Economics, French, German, Greek, History, International Studies, Kinesiology, Latin, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Spanish, and Theatre.

Certification Programs: Education

Pre-professional Pathways: Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Ministry, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Veterinary Medicine

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

Southwestern was founded on the western frontier in the 19th century as Texas’s first institution of higher education, and today is located in one of the country’s most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse states. These circumstances necessitate a fundamental commitment to diversity. Today, Southwestern seeks to expand upon that mandate by redressing the historic social exclusions that have characterized higher education in the U.S. In responding to the increasingly heterogeneous population of the U.S. and creating a socially just community, we make real these core values: fostering diverse perspectives, respecting the worth and dignity of persons, and encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good.

Click here to read Southwestern University’s statement on diversity in its entirety.

 

TACTICAL PLAN

Southwestern University commits to empowering students to think, create, and make meaning through intentional connections, innovative academic pursuits, and a vibrant residential community. This ongoing commitment to the rich experiences essential to intellectual, personal, and professional success in the 21st century requires institutional financial sustainability achieved through collaborative innovation and creativity.

Southwestern’s 2021-2026 Tactical Plan is an exciting vision for the University’s priorities, offering an unparalleled liberal arts education for our students, embracing and valuing all of our community members, and envisioning an exceptional living and learning environment.

The Tactical Plan aims to align all current institutional plans while also targeting specific initiatives that we believe are crucial to achieve over the next five years.

The priorities within the Tactical Plan are interrelated, central, and strategic, and the Plan identifies the necessary resources for achieving these priorities. The Tactical Plan will help Southwestern to realize its visionary potential as a distinctive liberal arts institution focused on serving students, staff, faculty, alumni, and our ever-widening communities.

Core Themes

  • Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity (DIBE)
  • Retention
  • Program Development
  • Physical and Technological Infrastructure
  • Competitive Compensation

Learn more about the strategic goals and direction of Southwestern University.

STATISTICS

Total Enrollment: 1,562

Male: 45.2%

Female: 54.8%

AI/NA: 0.3%

NH/PI: 0.1%

White: 60.6%

African American: 5.4%

Asian: 3.8%

Hispanic: 23.3%

Two or More Races: 4.2%

Race Unknown: 0.9%

Non-Resident: 1.5%

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS

As part of the University’s overall compensation package, employees may also be eligible to participate in the University’s various benefit programs or other fringe benefits.

To learn about the benefits offered by Southwestern University click here.

Application & Nomination

APPLICATION AND NOMINATION

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Dell Robinson at ddr@spelmanjohnson.com or Anne-Marie Kenney at amk@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

 Visit the Southwestern University website at https://www.southwestern.edu/

 Southwestern University is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, race, religion, age, disability, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, or any other impermissible factor.   

The University’s Official Diversity Statement

RELATED LINKS

About Southwestern University

https://www.southwestern.edu/

Diversity Enrichment Committee

https://www.southwestern.edu/diversity-education/diversity-enrichment-committee/ 

About Georgetown, Texas

https://georgetown.org/