About the Institute

Founded in 1861 in Cambridge, MA, MIT’s mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. With ingenuity and drive, MIT graduates have invented fundamental technologies, launched new industries, and created millions of American jobs. At the same time, and without the slightest sense of contradiction, MIT is profoundly global. The MIT community gains tremendous strength as a magnet for talent from around the world. Through teaching, research, and innovation, MIT’s exceptional community pursues its mission of service to the nation and the world.

About Cambridge & Boston

MIT is an integral part of its host city of Cambridge, a diverse and vibrant community noted for its intellectual life, history, and thriving innovation climate. With a campus nestled between Central and Kendall Squares, and across the Charles River from Boston’s Back Bay, the Institute is optimally positioned to collaborate with its neighbors and to contribute to its community.


MIT's Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Wellness, and Recreation (DAPER) offers opportunities for sports instruction and participation at all levels. The department is committed to its core values - the pursuit of Excellence in creating an environment that: develops Community; provides Education; inspires Leadership; and promotes Wellness.

Sponsoring 33 varsity sports competing at the NCAA, Division III level, with the exception of MIT’s Division I rowing program, approximately 25 percent of undergraduates participate in varsity athletics. MIT’s rich athletic tradition has produced 233 Academic All-America citations, the most for any Division III program in the nation. MIT's Physical Education and Wellness program offers a variety of courses for undergraduate students to complete the swim requirement and the 8-point General Institute Requirement. The intramural program offers competition in 18 sports with over 4,000 participants and MIT features one of the nation's most expansive club programs, with more than 800 participants and 33 teams.

Position Summary

The Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Department Head reports to the Vice President and Dean for Student Life and sets the strategic direction for the department in context of MIT’s mission and values.  Emphasizing education and continuous learning, the Director/Department Head provides leadership, supervision, and motivation for department faculty and staff as they support the needs of the broader athletic community. The Director/Department Head establishes vision and standards of quantifiable excellence in the areas of intercollegiate athletics, physical education, wellness, and recreation.

In addition, the Director/Department Head formulates, implements, and guides department-level policy and provides for the administration and financial management for the department and all its related programs and services. They effectively develop and communicate the department mission, vision, and goals and develop successful plans and proposals for senior administration on behalf of the department and its strategic initiatives that also reflect the mission and vision of the Division of Student Life.

The Director sets the standards for best practices in all areas of the department, including effective management and stewardship of departmental resources and facilities. It is also important they attain a high degree of community satisfaction with DAPER programs, contribute to the profession, and are highly regarded in the field of athletics, physical education, and recreation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Establish and manage the strategic direction of the department with a broad emphasis on leading and learning.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership of DAPER’s programs and services; provide effective and strategic resource manage and utilization of facilities; administer and monitor the department’s capital budget, operations, and personnel budgets.
  • Evaluate and manage MITs Intercollegiate Athletics, Physical Education, Wellness, and Recreation programs.
  • Ensure staffing needs and professional excellence through effective hiring and management practices.
  • Develop and foster alumni relationships and establish DAPER proposals and strategic priorities for fundraising in collaboration with the Alumni Association and Resource Development, including leadership giving and capital gifts.
  • Plan and direct the development and implementation of marketing programs in conjunction with Health Fitness Corporation staff to educate and inform targeted audiences on the continuous improvement with associated metrics and benchmarks with a focus on increased recreational and fitness membership and overall participation annually.
  • Lead the physical education and wellness program (requirement for graduation) in a way that is consistent with the innovative educational values of MIT to ensure a focus on wellness, student development, and knowledge of current trends and curriculum.
  • Maintain MIT’s relationship with NCAA Division I, and III, and NEWMAC and other respective sport conferences to ensure compliance with the procedures, rules, and regulations of those organizations.
  • Keep abreast of regulatory changes and ensure compliance with requirements by reviewing all relevant documents and determining impact of changes on programs.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to Title IX compliance.
  • Work closely with student government leaders, recreational student leaders, and intercollegiate student-athletes, consulting with them regularly to ensure that MIT’s programs and services offered meet the needs of the various constituencies, particularly student users.
  • Coordinate with other MIT offices to improve the health and wellbeing of the MIT student body and other members of the MIT community.  
  • Represent the department to appropriate internal and external groups, including but not limited to alumni, parents, and civic organizations.
  • Work collaboratively with other offices at MIT to support student-athletes in their pursuit of athletics excellence in the context of high academic achievement and advocate for a balanced and healthy lifestyle as appropriate.
  • Ensure the long-term success of DAPER by providing performance feedback to staff with associated opportunities for learning and development, including management of the promotion process for DAPER staff who are on the faculty track.
  • Ensure enrollment of qualified student-athletes. Oversee coaches’ recruitment efforts.
  • Oversee the development of short and long range plans for student-athlete recruitment and attend appropriate recruiting events.
  • Establish and administer policies, procedures, and related protocols in accordance with state, federal and organizational guidelines.
  • Ensure the completion of operational and statistical reports for management and regulatory agencies.
  • Maintain professional growth by participating in educational programs and assuming leadership roles in professional organizations.
  • Mediate issues and resolve conflict in and among competing programs and resources.
  • Perform related responsibilities as required.


  • An advanced degree in physical education, sports management, business or a related field is required.
  • Eight to ten years of experience in university or college sports programs or a related field required, 5 years of which must be in a leadership and supervisory capacity with specific professional contributions to the field.
  • Demonstrated success in the area of staff motivation and empowerment in supporting the achievement of excellence is essential. Experience in successfully leading others who are responsible for program and service deliverables.
  • Demonstrated engagement and success in development/fund-raising strategies and efforts is essential.
  • Experience leading a mission-driven organization and effectively managing resources is essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a complex organization in a diverse environment.
  • Commitment to the academic success of students and an appreciation for academic rigor is significant.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide visionary leadership for a significant program such as MIT’s Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation is required.
  • Experience hosting major sports events and championships with an understanding of athletic training requirements and the efficient utilization of union personnel are preferred.
  • Track record for achieving programmatic and service excellence through cost effective approaches and strategies is necessary.
  • Definite willingness to learn and to partner with others to achieve shared success, including the ability to listen and engage others in solving problems. The inclination to take a win/win approach in a competitive environment is significant.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with an emphasis on collaboration are essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to link long range visions and concepts to daily work is essential.
  • Proven success at developing and delivering compelling plans and proposals to a senior audience is critical.
  • Effective communication of verbal and written goals and objectives.
  • Must be innovative, creative, and flexible.

Application Process

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) invites letters of nomination, applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the institute. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted at Parker Executive Search’s website by October 11, 2019. For additional information please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Principal

Parker Executive Search
770-804-1996 ext. 118

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. MIT does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information. 

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