PUC begins national search for athletic director

Purdue University Calumet is embarking on a national search for its next athletic director.

In a change from previous reporting structure, Purdue Calumet’s new A.D. will report directly to the university Chancellor. Previously, the position reported to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

“My vision for Purdue Calumet places significant emphasis on our athletics program and its ability to advance university strategic goals,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “In short, a strong athletics program can attract students who are very talented academically, because most good high school athletes want to continue participating in sports while they pursue their academic goals.”

Responsibilities of Purdue Calumet’s new athletic chief will involve managing all aspects of the athletic program, including assessing, recommending and managing long term plans; working with architects and other constituents regarding repurposing and improving current facilities and sites relative to program growth; and conducting and overseeing program fundraising efforts with the university’s Office of Advancement.

A comprehensive job description is published on the Purdue Calumet web site: http://webs.purduecal.edu/hr/athletic-director/.

A search committee, comprised of representatives from the university administration, faculty, student body and local industry and chaired by Purdue Calumet Executive Assistant to the Chancellor for Engagement Regina Biddings-Muro, is working with a consulting firm, Carr Sports Associates, Inc., to conduct the search.

“We are looking for someone with the drive, passion, energy and integrity to take Purdue Calumet athletics to the next level, strengthening the university’s ability to grow in its role as a valued and respected Northwest Indiana leader,” Biddings-Muro said. “The committee’s goal, as we work through the selection process, is to find a leader who will be able to carry out our existing athletic growth plans and identify new opportunities for growth that will be appropriate for our campus.”

Retired Purdue Calumet athletic director John Friend, who has served the athletic program in recent years as a consultant, agreed to resume directing Peregrines sports on an interim basis while the search for a long-term successor is conducted. Friend stepped in when former university athletic director Robert Bunnell resigned in August.

Under Bunnell’s direction, Purdue Calumet initiated a plan to expand its varsity sports program to 12 teams by the 2013-14 academic year. Supporting that plan is a partnership with the city of Hammond to develop an athletic complex in nearby Dowling Park to accommodate Purdue Calumet tennis, soccer, baseball and softball squads. The complex is to be funded by city and university dollars, including those generated by Purdue Calumet fundraising efforts.

With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students, Purdue Calumet is one of the largest institutions in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Purdue Calumet fields varsity teams in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s cross country. The university plans to introduce men’s and women’s soccer teams next fall and men’s baseball and women’s softball squads the following year.

The search timetable calls for an appointment to be made by the end of the 2012 spring semester in May.