University of Denver | Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics

The Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation, and Ritchie Center Operations (“VC”) reports to Chancellor Rebecca Chopp and will participate as a member of the chancellor’s executive leadership team, fully engaging in the implementation of the University’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025.  The plan emphasizes holistic student learning and community partnership, and the VC will ensure that the Division of Athletics and Recreation continues to integrate with the full University community to realize that vision.

At all times, the VC shall provide strategic and executive leadership in the unwavering commitment to the betterment of the university, its mission and the overall welfare of the University students.  The VC serves on the chancellor’s senior staff, providing counsel on matters of University-wide import and ensuring that other senior leaders understand the priorities and successes of the Division of Athletics and Recreation.

The VC will be responsible for the overall operations of the University of Denver’s intercollegiate athletics program and its seventeen (17) varsity sports, as well as the continued development and expansion of the recreation and wellness program to meet the needs of the University and the metro Denver community.  Additionally, the VC will oversee the execution of NCAA Division I events, carious University and community events in the Ritchie Center and the University-owned Highlands Ranch Golf Course operations.

The general responsibilities listed herein are neither exhaustive nor exclusive and are subject to change.  Most importantly, the VC shall fully embrace the University mission including striving to achieve the highest possible academic achievement and graduation rates for all students, including student-athletes; leadership with the highest possible standard of integrity, ethics, honesty and humility including constant vigilance and compliance with the rules; strong fiscal/business, marketing, communications and media acumen to ensure a balanced budget and maintenance of the strongest possible financial integrity of the Department; and above all else, an innate public service/teacher orientation where all team members (students, student-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni) are put ahead of any real or perceived personal agenda.

Any and all interested candidates should apply directly to Turnkey Search. Contacting the University of Denver will only delay consideration of your qualifications.

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Background:

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is an independent, doctoral granting research university with high research activity.  The University has become increasingly prominent nationally and internationally for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, a holistic, student-centered approach to learning and a dedication to the public good through local, national and international partnerships.  It plays an integral role in the cultural, social, economic and educational life of the vibrant and fast-growing city and region it calls home.  Located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, the University, known as DU, embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines our region and our history.  DU’s campus is located on a 125-acre campus just minutes from downtown, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains and is designated as an arboretum.

Both the city of Denver and the state of Colorado have quickly become attractive destinations for business and industry.  For the second year in a row, Denver holds the top spot for best places for businesses and careers and is the second-fastest growing city in the country, establishing itself as a magnet for young professionals with a median population age of just 34.  Denver also holds the top ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 Best Places to Live study, citing the city’s proximity to outdoor recreation, a progressive mindset and its walkability.  Boasting 200 days of sunshine a year, the quality of life in Denver is unmatched.

The University of Denver Pioneers have built one of the most successful Division I programs, currently ranking 14th in the country for NCAA Division I championships.  In the 2016-2017 rankings of the Capital One Cup for Athletic Excellence, DU’s men’s program ranked first in the country for schools without a football team, and fifth overall.  Pioneer athletics offers a broad-based athletics model, with a budget of greater than $37 million supporting 17 varsity sports.  Pioneer student-athletes achieve above the national average in academics with an average GPA of 3.35, and also graduated at a 93 percent rate for the 2016-2017 school year.  The DU Ski program has the most titles of any institution in the United States, and the men’s ice hockey team’s eight (8) national titles rank second among all NCAA programs, including the 2017 national title under coach Jim Montgomery.  Led by Hall-of-Famer Bill Tierney, the men’s lacrosse program captured its first championship in 2015, becoming the first school outside the Eastern Time Zone to win a national title in lacrosse.  In partnership with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, the Vice Chancellor for Athletics will look to build upon this established legacy of athletic and academic success while continuing to immerse the Division and University in the local community and the national athletics landscape.

Summary:

The Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation, and Ritchie Center Operations (“VC”) reports to Chancellor Rebecca Chopp and will participate as a member of the chancellor’s executive leadership team, fully engaging in the implementation of the University’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025.  The plan emphasizes holistic student learning and community partnership, and the VC will ensure that the Division of Athletics and Recreation continues to integrate with the full University community to realize that vision.

At all times, the VC shall provide strategic and executive leadership in the unwavering commitment to the betterment of the university, its mission and the overall welfare of the University students.  The VC serves on the chancellor’s senior staff, providing counsel on matters of University-wide import and ensuring that other senior leaders understand the priorities and successes of the Division of Athletics and Recreation.

The VC will be responsible for the overall operations of the University of Denver’s intercollegiate athletics program and its seventeen (17) varsity sports, as well as the continued development and expansion of the recreation and wellness program to meet the needs of the University and the metro Denver community.  Additionally, the VC will oversee the execution of NCAA Division I events, carious University and community events in the Ritchie Center and the University-owned Highlands Ranch Golf Course operations.

The general responsibilities listed herein are neither exhaustive nor exclusive and are subject to change.  Most importantly, the VC shall fully embrace the University mission including striving to achieve the highest possible academic achievement and graduation rates for all students, including student-athletes; leadership with the highest possible standard of integrity, ethics, honesty and humility including constant vigilance and compliance with the rules; strong fiscal/business, marketing, communications and media acumen to ensure a balanced budget and maintenance of the strongest possible financial integrity of the Department; and above all else, an innate public service/teacher orientation where all team members (students, student-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni) are put ahead of any real or perceived personal agenda.

Responsibilities:

The specific responsibilities listed below are neither exhaustive nor exclusive and are subject to change during and/or after the search process.  The VC shall be responsible for the duties including but not limited to the following:

  • Above all else, the VC will maintain the University’s current winning environment, both on the field and in the classroom, with a sustained commitment to further develop a student-centered culture with emphasis on academic and athletic excellence. The VC must have complete dedication to furthering the mission to make the Division of Athletics great; good is unacceptable.
  • Serve as an advisor to the chancellor and, as a University leader, simultaneously advocate for the goals of the University and the Division of Athletics and Recreation; ensure that the Division has adequate and appropriate plans, policies, procedures and programs that comply with and promote the University’s mission, values and goals.
  • Promote the University’s unwavering commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, inclusiveness and compliance including, without limitation, Title IX; possess an authentic and deep personal commitment to equal opportunity at all levels of the Division and promote such personal commitments across all University constituencies.
  • Recruit, hire, manage and retain coaches who perform at the highest levels; attract and direct the highest levels of talent within Athletics administration; maintain a close, open, communicative, nurturing and supportive environment while simultaneously establishing a firm culture of accountability for the University’s mission, values and goals.
  • Understand the uniqueness of the Division in terms of location and conference alignments, as well as the uniqueness of sports such as hockey, skiing, lacrosse and gymnastics; provide strategic direction and demonstrated understanding of the complexities of athletics conferences with proven success negotiating conference membership.
  • Develop, maintain and annually review programs and procedures that reinforce the University’s mission, values and goals to ensure the highest academic achievement for all student athletes as well as prospective student-athletes; develop and maintain a strong culture and environment of academic learning by creating programs for academic advising and counseling; emphasize the importance of class attendance and performance; track grade point averages; highlight NCAA academic progress rates (APR) as well as NCAA and national graduation rates.
  • Develop, maintain and annually review programs and procedures that ensure the health, safety, recovery and welfare of the student-athletes, coaches, trainers and staff; promote student welfare by means of educational, social, emotional, psychological and physical development and well-being.
  • Ensure the fiscal and financial integrity of the Division by developing systems, plans, budgets and business strategies and tactics to anticipate, track and report all expenditures; identify and further revenue opportunities consistent with the University’s mission, values and goals; fundraise for the betterment of the Division and for the betterment of the University, its mission and the overall welfare of the University’s students.
  • The VC must be genuinely engaged, energetic, articulate and accessible while serving successfully as the face and voice of the University of Denver’s Division of Athletics and Recreation and in so doing, develop positive relationships and ongoing personal communications with all UD constituent groups both on- and off-campus as well as local and national media.
  • Execute approved plans for maintaining buildings, fields, courts and other athletics facilities that offer safe and spacious venues for competition while maximizing multi-purpose use of those facilities by community organizations and external event promoters.

Qualifications, Characteristics, Traits:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s or other post-graduate degree in athletics administration, education, business, law or related field preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to academic integrity and excellence while personally and professionally embodying a commitment to lifelong learning and intellectual curiosity.
  • Minimum ten years of work experience at institutions of higher education or similar experience; minimum ten years of progressively responsible management experience involving the administration of Division I intercollegiate athletics programs or other related university administrative experience.
  • Demonstrated experience advancing all aspects of diversity and inclusion, assuring gender equity and full compliance with Title IX as well as strong personal commitment to diversity.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with budget development and financial planning aligned with strong business management skills; ability to provide divisional financial stewardship of (currently) $37 million in annual revenue and expense.
  • Extensive experience with fundraising and donor relations, including an innate appreciation for the role that philanthropy plays in higher education; demonstrated success in fundraising efforts for and the management of capital projects.
  • Experience and skill in recruiting, managing and developing senior-level leadership, including coaches; experience successfully leading large and diverse teams of substantial complexity.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with sales and marketing experiential products (games, events, matches) as well as services and consumer products.
  • Embodiment of excellent interpersonal skills, including listening, speaking and strong written and verbal communications; demonstrated eagerness to interact with, understand and relate to students, coaches, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, elected officials and the media; demonstrated ability to embody and balance the roles of educator, coach, business leader and public servant.
  • Embodiment of a strong work ethic, including attention to detail, strong negotiation skills, the ability to make tough decisions, handle adversity and conflict and seek feedback.

Nominations & Applications:

The University of Denver has retained Turnkey Search, a subsidiary of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment (“Turnkey”), to assist in the recruitment and review of all applications and nominations.  Any and all interested candidates should apply directly to Turnkey Search.  Contacting the University of Denver will only delay consideration of your qualifications.  To ensure full consideration, application and/or nomination materials must be received by November 1, 2017.

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans.  The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

2017-09-25T22:52:16+00:00

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