About New York University

Founded in 1831, New York University (NYU) is now among the largest private universities in the United States. Anchored in New York City with degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai as well as 11 study away sites throughout the world, NYU has more international students and more students studying abroad than any other US university.  NYU has been an innovator in higher education, reaching out to an emerging middle class, embracing an urban identity and professional focus, and promoting a global vision that informs its 19 schools and colleges. The university draws upon the diverse backgrounds of its faculty and staff, ensuring its scholarship and teaching benefit from a wide range of perspectives, in addition to providing rigorous, demanding education to more than 60,000 students who come from nearly every state and 133 countries. NYU takes seriously its role as an engine of social mobility, and stands out among the top US universities in its representation of low-income and first-generation students within its community. The trailblazing spirit of NYU, one of the most prominent and respected research universities in the world, has produced a vast network of alumni who have gone on to succeed across professions, from the sciences to the arts and government, throughout the world.

About NYU Athletics

NYU fields a collegiate athletic program consisting of 23 varsity sports teams competing in NCAA Division III and the University Athletic Association and 25 intercollegiate club teams comprising over 1,250 student-athletes, a recreation course program that historically has enrolled over 9,000 persons each year, and a year round intramural program with over 8,500 annual participants. Leading a staff of over 600 professional and student staff, the department manages and operates the Palladium Athletic Facility, NYU’s Brooklyn Athletic Facility, the 404 Lafayette Athletic Facility, and 181 Mercer Street Athletic Center (Expected Fall 2022), which will serve as the hub of NYU athletics.  In total, NYU athletic facilities welcome over 900,000 patrons each year. 

In addition, the department identifies, secures, leases, rents and permits over three dozen athletics facilities throughout the New York metropolitan area for the benefit of intercollegiate varsity, club and intramural sport programs. The department also coordinates transportation to various sites for both practices and games.  

In the 2018-19 academic year, the NYU women’s golf team won the NCAA Division III National Championship and a member of the women’s swim team captured three NCAA individual championships and was named National Swimmer of the Year. In 2018-19, 16 NYU teams were represented in postseason competition. Best-ever national finishes were compiled by women’s golf (#1), women’s swimming & diving (#5) and women’s tennis (#19), while the combined men’s and women’s fencing teams had the highest national finish of any Division III squad (#17). NYU student-athletes consistently earn grade point averages and graduation rates equal to or superior to those of the general student population. In 2018-19, NYU student-athletes posted cumulative GPAs of 3.40 in the fall and 3.41 in the spring, 27 students earned All-America honors, two were named Academic All-America and 199 earned University Athletic Association Academic Honors.

Three principles inform athletics at New York University: student-athletes are students first; the welfare of students, including student-athletes and student employees is of paramount concern and; we are committed to equality of opportunity and equity in support of all participants. 

Position Summary

The Director of Athletics reports to the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and sets the direction for the department in the context of NYU’s mission and values. Emphasizing enhancement of the University’s educational goals, the Director provides leadership, supervision, and motivation for department administrators and staff as they support the needs of the University athletic community. The Director establishes the vision and standards of measurable excellence in intercollegiate athletics, club sports, intramurals, recreation and facility operations in consultation with the Senior Vice President.  The Director formulates, implements, and guides department-level policy and provides administration and financial management for the department in consultation with University partners. The Director effectively develops and communicates the department mission, vision, and goals and develops successful plans and proposals for the Senior Vice President, on behalf of the department, reflecting the mission and vision of the Division of Student Affairs.  The Director sets the standards for best practices in all areas of the department, including effective management and stewardship of departmental resources and facilities attaining a high degree of community satisfaction with Athletics department programs in consultation with department administrators, coaches and staff.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide clear vision, strategic planning and leadership for the department of athletics, intramurals and recreation, in pursuit of excellence and consistent with the overall mission of the University and the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Oversee intercollegiate athletics, intramurals, recreation and facilities and support programs that report to the Director and senior staff. Develop long range and yearly departmental budget plans within the budget parameters set by the Budget and Planning office and ensure fiscal accountability. Set expectations and ensure performance. Formulate a pro-active approach to handling personnel and student issues. Provide direction to set goals, stimulate program development, allocate resources, assess student and other institutional needs, develop appropriate policies, foster open communication with and among campus constituencies and promote effective evaluation methods.
  • Oversee the administration of the intercollegiate athletics program while maintaining accountability for program design, operation, safety, evaluation, and improvement. Maintain NYU’s relationship with the NCAA, University Athletic Association and other respective sport conferences to ensure compliance with institutional, UAA, NCAA as well as local, regional and national requirements.  Participate actively in UAA and other league meetings and activities.
  • Promote broad involvement of the University community in athletic, intramural and recreational activities. Ensure sound planning and implementation of programs and policies in consultation with University partners. Collaborate with the University community in defining and reviewing programs.  Develop and foster alumni relations in cooperation with the office of University Development and Alumni Relations.  Formulate a pro-active approach to handling issues and addressing challenges of a global student population.
  • Participate actively in student affairs, and university committees and campus conversations on student and institutional issues to enhance the educational mission and improve the health and wellbeing of the University community.
  • Represent the department to appropriate internal and external groups, including but not limited to alumni, parents, civic organizations and local and regional government officials.
  • Work collaboratively with other offices at NYU to support student-athletes in their pursuit of excellence in the context of high academic and athletic achievement.
  • Oversee coaches’ recruitment efforts to ensure the enrollment of qualified student-athletes.


This position is unique in all of higher education, given the size, complexity, and distinctive nature of the athletics department, the University, and New York City. The ideal candidate is someone looking to be challenged, who thinks creatively, embraces complexity, and adapts to change. The ideal candidate should possess the following attributes:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in collegiate athletic administration or other equivalent work experience.
  • Demonstrated record of visionary leadership, innovation, creativity, flexibility and accomplishment with progressively responsible collegiate athletic administrative experience.
  • Capacity to serve as a thought leader in heading up an athletics department at a highly selective institution located in a large, complex urban environment in these complicated and challenging times.
  • Appreciation of and commitment to the student-athlete.
  • The ability to successfully engage with a large and diverse set of stakeholders in a variety of settings, including student and faculty advisory boards.
  • Established record of success in strategic and financial planning, setting of priorities, allocation of both monetary resources and the management of human capital.
  • Ability to be creative in both solving complicated issues, and taking advantage of new opportunities (i.e. E-Sports).
  • Strong skills in organizational and personnel management; strong analytic, strategic, communications, and interpersonal skills.
  • Commitment to diversity, gender equity, and to the development of an inclusive campus culture.
  • Commitment to quality service in providing a positive and inclusive experience for all members of the NYU community who participate in any athletics competition or fitness activity, or those that come to watch an athletic event.
  • Established record of fostering excellence in student success and development, as well as athletic affairs.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and foster collaboration and productive partnerships with a broad range of constituencies, both within and outside the University.
  • Ability to develop and cultivate an experience of community through athletics that will enhance the sense of students fitting in, connecting to, and belonging at NYU.
  • Strong knowledge of or demonstrated ability to quickly learn and master applicable policies, rules and regulations, including those of the NCAA and Title IX.
  • Demonstrated record of adherence to and compliance with applicable laws, policies, rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, NCAA rules, University Athletic Association rules, Title IX regulations, and university policies.
  • Ability to manage a large and complicated department with respect to coaches and staff; finances; and operations encompassing owned facilities, leased properties, and transportation services.
  • Lead with the highest ethical and moral standards.

Application Process

New York University invites letters of nomination, applications, or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the university.  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 March 16, 2020. For additional information please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Principal
DeLaina Sarden, Research Associate

ghiggison@parkersearch.com | dsarden@parkersearch.com
Parker Executive Search
770-804-1996 ext. 118 | 770-804-1996 ext. 119

NYU is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, alienage, caregiver status, childbirth, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

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