New athletic director search

Tawnya Schultz

The quest to fill the position for the new CSUN athletic director is not a simple task.

“It is very important for the new athletic director to be a Matador,” said Michael Neubauer, member of the athletic director search committee and coordinator of the developmental mathematics program. “He or she must become CSUN’s biggest cheerleader.”

The search committee was appointed in early spring by Jolene Koester, CSUN President, and is comprised of six individuals.

The committee members have an extensive background in athletics and a long history with CSUN.

Three of the members served on the recent Blue Ribbon Committee, which created an athletic plan for implementation at the university. Neubauer served as chair of intercollegiate athletics on the commission and previously served as faculty president.

Other members include the head coach for women’s volleyball, Jeff Stork, and Ronald McIntyre, president of faculty on the university planning and budget group committee.

Neubauer said the responsibilities of committee members include searching for and screening applicants, comparing and conversing with other members, and conducting interviews.

Committee members, however, will not make the final decision after the examination process.

An applicant review list is submitted to Koester who ultimately choose the new athletic director..

Former Athletic Director Dick Dull retired in August 2005 after a six-year stint. During his term, Dull was able to focus on the structure development for the Athletic Department. So far, choosing a new director has been a lengthy process. The position is currently open, although the committee hopes to finish their review by the end of July.

In an attempt to assure the right decision, CSUN recently hired Bill Carr of the consulting firm Carr Sports Associates to assist them and identify valuable candidates. The firm also helped Cal State Long Beach find a new athletic director and has worked for other universities across the U.S.

“We wanted a broader pool of candidates to choose from,” said Penelope Jennings, director of the search committee and associate vice president for faculty.

The opportunity to simply be a part of the process is what Neubauer enjoys about serving the committee.

Jennings said she also likes to search for individuals who will best fit the criteria to advance CSUN athletics.

Members cannot discuss or describe the applicants.

For committee members the key to narrowing down their evaluations is concentrating on one ideal: the new athletic director must possess the ability to communicate within CSUN and surrounding communities.

“The athletic director must be able to work internally and externally in the community,” Jennings said.

The new director must act as a leader, speaker, advocator and implements for the department and in programs that allow CSUN athletics to grow and flourish, committee members said.

“My vision is for us to find the right person that will make Matador athletics a success,” Neubauer said.