With athletic director Dick Baddour’s departure on the horizon, members of the faculty athletics committee know what they want in his replacement.
During the committee’s meeting Tuesday, members outlined several qualities they thought the next athletic director should possess, such as strong leadership and communication skills.
“He definitely needs to understand how athletics fits into academics and enriches that experience in the University,” said committee member Beverly Foster, director of undergraduate programs in the School of Nursing.
Committee member Chris Armitage, a professor in the English department, said his main concern is finding a director who will be respected among the faculty.
“I think there is a lot of skepticism amongst faculty members about what the director does,” Armitage said. “They think that the term student athlete is almost an oxymoron the way it’s being run.”
Another faculty group which focuses on academic support for student athletes is starting a campaign to promote adherence to the honor code among athletes.
The group’s campaign efforts will include hanging posters in all locker rooms with photos of athletes and the message ‘I’m a Tar Heel, and I follow the Honor Code.’
Senior Associate Athletic Director John Blanchard, a committee member and a leader of the academic support group, showed an example of the poster to the committee.
“I’m really excited about this campaign, and I think it will definitely make an impact on our athletes,” Blanchard said.
The University has allowed Baddour to stay under his contract until the athletic director position is filled.
“Having him here and having his experience to help guide us will be helpful as we chart these unknown waters ahead of us,” Thorp said.
Baddour said he will hold a public information session later in the semester to explain what the athletic director position entails.
“I am willing to help the University as much as possible,” Baddour said.
During the meeting, several members said the qualities they heard mentioned actually described Baddour. Thorp said he agreed that Baddour set a good standard for the next athletic director.
“If we can find an athletic director as good as Dick then we’ve done it right,” Thorp said.
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