July 19, 2018 | ° F

U. conducts search for Mulcahy's replacement

And the search is on.

Following a November report from the University's Athletic Review Committee accusing University President Richard L. McCormick and the Board of Governors of mismanagement of the Athletic department, McCormick fired Athletics Director Robert E. Mulcahy.

Former Rutgers College Dean and Special Counselor of Integrative Academic Programs Carl Kirschner stepped up to fill the void just as his interim appointment became effective Jan. 1, according to a statement from McCormick.

"As chair of the academic oversight committee, [Kirschner] knows the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics well and has worked directly with many coaches … I am confident that he will serve with distinction as interim director of athletics," McCormick said in the statement released in late December.

Kirschner has served as chair of the Academic Oversight Committee for Intercollegiate Athletics, which reviewed the applications and recommendations of incoming athletes and have the responsibility to meet with students and parents to assure them a highly qualified education, McCormick said in a phone interview.

In the meantime, Parker Executive Search, established in 1982, is seeking a permanent director of athletics. The company will assist the University search committee comprised of University faculty and alumni, according to NJ.com.

Parker Executive was hired Jan. 12 at the price of $58,000 in addition to expenses.

Dan Parker, president of Parker Executive, said the company was not at liberty to discuss their clients during the proceedings of an executive search.

But Philip J. Furmanski, chair of the University search committee and executive vice president for academic affairs, said they are hopeful in the search for a new director and confident that it will be expeditious.

Kirschner is not being considered for the permanent position, he said in a press release from scarletknights.com.

"The athletic director is the administrative leader of 44 sports and responsible for a $60 million per year budget, which is used for hiring and supporting our outstanding coaches and athletic expenses," McCormick said.

Although neither McCormick nor Furmanski could comment on the candidates for the position, they both said the search is in early stages and are optimistic it will be completed in the next few months.

"We are looking for someone who will provide that leadership and experience, someone with a deep understanding of the athletic and academic programs of Rutgers," he said. McCormick said he is confident in the success of the search.

"People know Rutgers athletics is on the rise," he said.

The candidates should have an understanding and comprehension of the culture of the University, but there is no requirement the candidates have previous ties to Rutgers, Furmanski said.

Another important aspect of the athletic director's position is promoting the program so it may maintain the reputation that is important to a prestigious public university, he said.

"Our progression toward developing an athletics program that is the hallmark of a major public research university is an important ongoing initiative," Kirschner said in the scarletknights.com press release. "By any criteria that we might use to identify the very top public research universities, we find that every one of them has a nationally recognized athletics program. Rutgers' pursuit of excellence in learning, research and service includes these important opportunities for our student athletes. They deserve no less."

Furmanski echoed these sentiments.

"[The search committee] is devoted to finding the very best person, who is committed to creating the best athletic program possible — one who relates closely to the school's academics, and one who will take us [the University and the athletics program] to the next level."

Sara Gretina

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