Matters related to Intercollegiate Athletics
Oct. 13, 2011
I want to bring you up to date on a few items related to intercollegiate athletics.
Future of the Big East
I'm sure you've heard or read about the athletic conference realignments. Big East conference presidents and athletic directors have been meeting regularly, either in person or by phone, to discuss the future of the conference and how we can maintain the high-level of athletic competitiveness and national reach for which the Big East is known.
Right now we are focusing on two things:
- Discussions with a select number of institutions that have indicated a strong interest in joining the Big East Conference; and
- Changes to the conference's governing bylaws that would further solidify the membership of the Big East.
Our affiliation with the Big East has been very positive for Marquette, and we will continue to work with conference officials and member institutions to sustain and enhance it. We are carefully monitoring the changing dynamics of conference realignment nationwide, recognizing the significance of Marquette's membership in a conference that is strong in basketball, soccer and our other varsity sports and that also offers wide geographic exposure.
Peer Review of Athletics
The second item I want to bring to your attention is the presence on campus this week of three nationally recognized educators who are conducting a peer review of our athletic program. The review looks at the department's academic performance, culture, student-athlete welfare, governance and compliance.
The review team includes: Dr. Mary DiStanislao, senior associate director of athletics at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Ted Leland, vice president for university advancement at the University of the Pacific and a former athletic director at Stanford and Dartmouth; and Dr. Sue Wasiolek, dean of students at Duke University. They will be meeting with athletic department and university administrators, members of the Faculty Athletic Board and other faculty representatives and student-athletes. You may also feel free to offer your insights by emailing the review team at: email@example.com.
This peer review was scheduled prior to the Big East discussions. While conference affiliation will certainly be a topic of interest, that was and is not the intent of the review. The review will provide critical information as the university launches a national search for athletic director.
Search for an Athletic Director
And that is the third item I wanted to share with you. The university has hired Parker Executive Search, an Atlanta-based firm specializing in collegiate athletics, to assist us in the search for a new athletic director. Parker has led the search for ADs at Bradley, Dartmouth, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Tennessee, among others.
Parker will be working with a strong Marquette-based search committee, chaired by Allie McGuire. McGuire graduated in 1973 after a successful career as a starting guard at Marquette, playing for his father, Al McGuire. He is a retired executive with Fidelity Investments in Boston, Mass. Other members of the search committee are Doc Rivers, Arts '85, head coach of the Boston Celtics, a Marquette trustee and a 14-year NBA veteran; Dr. Margaret Callahan, dean of the College of Nursing; and Matt Mitten, professor of law and director of Marquette's National Sports Law Institute.
The search committee will use the information developed during the peer review and meetings with representative groups on campus to develop a list of the qualities and characteristics looked for in our next athletic director. If you have comments you'd like to share, you can email the committee at ADsearch@marquette.edu. It is my hope and expectation that we will announce a new athletic director in the near future.
It has been a strong fall sports season for Marquette, and we want the enthusiasm and student involvement that accompanies collegiate sports to remain a part of the Marquette experience. Thank you for your support.
Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.
Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., is interim president
Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., is the interim president of Marquette University. From 1996 to 2011 he served as the 22nd president of Marquette University. Under his leadership, Marquette has improved academic quality, increased and stabilized enrollment, and enhanced partnerships with the City of Milwaukee and community groups and in 2005 completed the most successful comprehensive campaign in the history of the university with a total of $357 million. Read more...