A process has been going on behind the scenes on campus that most didn’t know about until recently. Southwestern College has been working to find an Athletic Director.
The process starts with searching through resumes. “We met that first time and then we had over 100 applications to review,” said Tammy McEwen, assistant professor of biology.
McEwen was selected by President Andrews to be on the Athletic Director search committee along with Ed Loeb, associate professor of mathematics.
“The President asked me and I was surprised…it was kind of an honor to be asked,” said McEwen.
The filling for the Athletic Director position is a little bit different this time around compared to the past.
“In the past all the athletic directors have been athletic directors and coaches. This is simply going to be an athletic director with no coaching responsibilities. It’s almost a step up for this position, he will be one of the top administrators for the school,” said McEwen.
The committee was made up of two faculty members, two members from the board of trustees, two coaches, three from campus staff, and two from the community.
Loeb has been on search committees before. He said, “I’ve done some for like faculty in different divisions but nothing on that level.”
Although Loeb has been on a search committee of this importance, he hasn’t at this institution. He said there were still challenges in the search.
“The biggest challenge that I felt in being on the committee was just trying to make sure that the goals the president put forth in terms of what he was looking for; that the candidates we selected fit those goals… when it came down to selecting the top candidates that we were looking at there was a lot of difficulties in sort of weighing the little and minute details that you can’t get from just that first view of the applications,” said Loeb.
After the initial look at resumes, each person on the search committee selected their top 10. The committee met again and narrowed the 25-30 people into 10-11. They then picked nine do Skype interviews with.
Referring to the Skype interviews, McEwen said, “We had a set of questions we agreed upon and asked everybody the same questions. That gave us kind of a base line so we weren’t asking one candidate this and another candidate that… it gave us a nice frame of reference to work with.”
The top nine was then narrowed down to the top four candidates who will now be visiting campus.
The initial part of the process is all done by the committee. President Andrews stayed out of it and told the committee it was up to them and that he wanted to see the four they came up with.
Loeb believes the four candidates they have left are strong ones.
“I feel like all four of them are people who could step into the AD role here and be capable of starting off on day one and leading the program in the right direction,” said Loeb.
Today starts the campus visits for the candidates. Their days will be packed with meetings in different departments; forums with community, staff and students; and a campus tour.
Students are encouraged to attend the student forums. These will take place on February 5, 8, 11, and 12 at 3 p.m. in Richardson Performing Arts Center.
The final decision is officially in the hands of President Andrews, he as expressed that he wants to hear opinions and perspectives on each candidates from faculty, staff, students and community members.
“I feel like the president, even though it’s ultimately his decision, is truly interested in everybody else’s opinion or perceptions,” said McEwen.
Following the forums, participants will have the opportunity to comment their thoughts through Survey Monkey.
Loeb said, “I think the president is interested in getting everyone’s perspective on which candidate they think is best, obviously there are aspects that the students perceive that others don’t so I think he will listen to all the perspective that he gets from various groups and use them to select the candidate best suited for us.”
The names of the four candidates have yet to be released to the media but following are brief bios on each. They are all men and are employed in Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri.
- Head football coach at a small college. Has experience as athletic director and coaching other sports
- Extensive small college experience including coaching, associate athletic director. Proficiency in eligibility and compliance.
- Currently interim athletic director at small college. Past experience as sports information director, high school coaching experience.
- District athletic director in Kansas district. Experience with fundraising, coaching at high school level.
Bailey VenJohn is a senior majoring in communication. You may email her at email@example.com.