About Rochester Institute of Technology

Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a diverse and collaborative community of engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually curious minds. Today, RIT is one of the world’s leading innovative institutions—a vibrant, connected community that is home to diverse, ambitious, creative students, and faculty from around the world. Over the past decade, the university has invested significant capital to improve academic and student life. RIT moved into the “National Universities” category of U.S. News & World Report rankings in 2016.

The main campus is located outside of Rochester, New York on 1,300+ acres. As of fall 2020, the university enrolled 18,668 full- and part-time students (15,739 undergraduate and 2,929 graduate students) who represent all 50 states and more than 100 nations. Nearly 4,000 students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are enrolled on the main campus along with approximately 2,000 international students. An additional 2,500 students are enrolled at RIT’s international campuses in Croatia, Kosovo, Dubai, and China.  

The physical footprint of the university has grown considerably in recent years. In 2014 the Gene Polisseni Center opened and serves as the home for RIT Men and Women’s hockey games. The arena is located on the south side of the Student Alumni Union, in the heart of the campus. The 112,400 square foot facility includes 4,000 seats and additional space for a total of 4,300 fans, a club seating. Section, Club Lounge, six luxury suites, a VIP player experience box and the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame highlighting our proud athletics history. The College of Health Sciences and Technology, created in 2011 as RIT’s ninth college, opened the Clinical Health Sciences Center in 2015.  In its ongoing quest to enhance campus infrastructure to meet the needs of innovative programming and student desires, RIT is making plans for future expansions including the Innovative Maker and Learning Complex, a performing arts center and enhanced athletics facilities. At RIT we are always on to something amazing.

About Rochester, New York

The Greater Rochester Region is known for its high quality of life, cultural institutions and ranks among the top knowledge-based economic regions in the world. With a backdrop that includes the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario, Rochester is the third largest metro area in New York with quick flights to New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. 

The region boasts a thriving, high-tech economy fueled by start-ups.  Scientific Reports named Rochester 18th among “the world’s leading science cities” and the New Republic reports Rochester as one of the most innovation-intensive metro areas in the country. Atlantic Magazine listed Rochester as one of 35 innovation hubs in the country, based on start-up companies, patents and entrepreneurs per capita. The metropolitan area boasts 20,000 acres of parkland and offers year-round recreational opportunities for those who like to be outdoors in all seasons. Rochester offers an exceptional quality of life, with cultural amenities and recreational activities, affordable health care and cost of living, excellent schools, and the arts, culture, sports and nightlife of a big city with the ease and comfort of a small town.

About RIT Athletics

RIT Athletics, home to 24 teams (12 for both men and women), including two Division I ice hockey teams, as well as over 650 student-athletes and staff, joined the Liberty League in 2011 after 10 seasons in the Empire 8. Over the last 20 years, RIT teams have totaled 41 conference championships, while also enjoying success on a national level. RIT teams and individuals have enjoyed national prominence with the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey programs having won National Championships (Men’s: 1983 (D. II) and 1985 (D. III) / Women’s: 2012 (D. III)). Men's lacrosse has established itself as a Division III power, clinching 10-straight conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, including national runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2017. The women's basketball team played in three-straight NCAA Tournaments from 2017-19, leading multiple other programs that have competed in the NCAA Championships through the years. The Athletic Department not only excels on the fields and courts, but also in the classroom with 52 Academic All-Americans over the past 40 years.

Mission Statement
RIT Athletics is committed to providing an outstanding student-centered athletic experience through the relentless pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. We do so within the context of integrity and respect. Our exceptional staff strives to create an unrivaled experience that fosters the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional growth of our student-athletes in order to prepare them for success beyond RIT and to be leaders in the global community.

Vision Statement
RIT Athletics strives to be a championship level intercollegiate athletics program that provides the optimal balance between academic and athletic performance, while serving as a symbol of pride for the University, our alumni, and the greater community.

Core Values

Student Centered

Our conduct and decision-making are directed by our commitment to student success.

Integrity

We maintain and demonstrate uncompromising commitment to the highest moral standards and honor the tradition and pride in RIT’s rich athletic heritage.

Leadership

Our individual and collective actions promote personal responsibility and serve as a proactive and positive influence within our teams and throughout the community.

Excellence

We foster the relentless pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.

Respect

We demonstrate respect for self, team, the University and our community through civility and a commitment to equity and inclusiveness.

Personal Growth and Development

We are committed to lifelong learning, healthy lifestyles and maximizing the full potential of mind and body.

Position Summary

The Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics (EAD) is responsible for the development, management, coordination and supervision of a competitive intercollegiate athletics program with 24 competitive teams (2 NCAA Division I and 22 NCAA Division III).  The EAD also (1) provides visionary leadership, strategic planning and policy development for the intercollegiate athletics program; (2) maintains an athletics program that is committed to the university’s mission and strategic priorities; (3) works with the RIT development office to raise funds for the athletic department; (4) administers the overall athletic budget; (5) recruits, manages and supports the coaching staff; and (5) ensures compliance with all university, national association and conference policies, rules and regulations; (6) effectively represents the University to the greater community

The Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics must foster high standards of integrity, athletic excellence, and academic success; possess strong management and fiscal skills; develop excellent relationships with both internal and external constituents; and direct and hire coaches who are committed not only to building successful programs but also to the welfare of student athletes and to operating with the spirit and letter of the rules.  The Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics reports to the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs.

Responsibilities of the Position

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide leadership and serves as the primary spokesperson for the intercollegiate athletic program. Develop recommendations and supporting documentation to make data driven decisions regarding goals, staffing, budget appropriations, and other aspects of the intercollegiate athletics program.
  • Oversee budgeting, personnel matters, and reporting in accordance with university, state, federal, and NCAA guidelines, regulations, procedures, and policies. 
  • Have a deep understanding of, and advocate for, the resources needed to support the intercollegiate athletics program (facilities, training, recruitment, coaching and support staff).
  • Establish policies and procedures to ensure compliance with NCAA, League, Conference, University, and Middle States rules and regulations.  Inculcate in both the coaching and administrative staff an understanding of the importance of these standards and policies. 
  • Support the University's commitment to goals set forth in the University's diversity, race and ethnicity action plan and implement a concurrent plan within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
  • Ensure that coaching and administrative staff actively support the Department and University's joint commitment to academic achievement.
  • Collaborate with University Marketing and Communications regarding the marketing and communications for the department.
  • Manage the contractual relationship for sports medicine and supervises the head athletic trainer in providing services to student-athletes for all intercollegiate athletics programs.
  • Develop long-range plans in collaboration with University Facilities Management to determine need for and feasibility of constructing and/or upgrading athletic facilities.
  • Work closely with the Vice President for Enrollment Management, admissions staff and coaches to recruit talented and academically qualified student-athletes.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Development for Intercollegiate Athletics support and be actively involved with fund-raising efforts to provide for team support, student athlete development, facilities, and equipment.
  • Establish goals for Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, with appropriate University officials, for gender equity in athletics programs in accordance with Title IX, and take appropriate actions to work toward and to achieve those goals.
  • Adhere to high standards of confidentiality of information regarding University, student, organizational and personnel data.
  • Meet with student athletes to resolve complex issues, make referrals, and conduct follow-up as needed.
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Vice President’s leadership team and work closely with the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR).
  • Serve on local, regional and national sport and league committees and boards and represent the University at NCAA and other regional/national conventions and meetings, as appropriate.
  • Attend home and away contests and have a visible presence at other University wide events.
  • Promote adherence to all university policies and procedures.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

This is an outstanding opportunity for a strategic, dynamic, and creative leader to embrace the mission of an evolving and dynamic University and a growing intercollegiate athletic program.  Success in this position will require an understanding of both complex organizational structures and the interdependence of the academic and non-academic aspects of students’ education, and the energy and interpersonal skills to foster innovative practices.  The successful candidate will:

  • Possess the capacity to communicate broadly across the University, cultivate and sustain collegial relationships, and build unity around difficult issues; an active listener, facilitator, convener, mediator, and coach;
  • Be an innovator—able to forge new ideas and strategies for a comprehensive and successful intercollegiate athletics program;
  • Demonstrate a flexible attitude and be comfortable leading change and continuous improvement in response to evolving trends and best practices;
  • Demonstrate management skills in team-building, strategic planning, goal setting and financial management;
  • Have the knowledge of the differences between individual and team sports in order to provide an equitable student athlete experience across all sports;
  • Create new and innovative ways to promote athletics and school spirit to not only the on-campus community, but also to the Rochester community and the national alumni base.
  • Have proven skills as a senior leader, with demonstrated ability to mentor and support staff and provide successful oversight of people, budget, and space, as well as, a commitment to clarity and accountability;
  • Have a personal style that is professional, personable, approachable, energetic and politically savvy/astute.
  • Display an openness to risk, change, and criticism; demonstrate a high degree of self-confidence and the ability to face challenges calmly;
  • Be a strategic thinker and leader who will challenge and inspire people with new ideas; an entrepreneurial and visionary person rooted in principle; adaptable; comfortable thinking outside the box;
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and management experience; a record of outstanding achievement as a member of a leadership team at a complex institution of higher learning; ability to build relationships with members of all constituencies, including faculty, alumni and community partners;
  • Have a track record of commitment to student-athlete well-being and overall health and welfare;
  • Have effective listening skills; intellectual curiosity and ability to engage in constructive debate and discussion.
  • Have excellent judgment, level-headedness, personal warmth, a can-do attitude, resilience in the face of criticism, and an effective executive presence;
  • Have the ability to manage and maintain confidential and private information; uses confidential, sensitive and/or private records and information, protects information appropriately;
  • Have experience with assessment and demonstrated skill in using data and student learning outcomes to make evidence-based decisions regarding student life programs and services;
  • Demonstrate the highest integrity and uncompromising standards of excellence;
  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and demonstrate the ability to work within a diverse community. A commitment to the promotion of a campus culture that respects individuals and personal accountability;
  • Possess advanced familiarity with developing learning outcomes, assessment practices, NCAA standards and awareness of league and conference operating principles.
  • Be equipped to effectively manage up the organization, as well as across, and down while keeping priorities and key constituents in focus;
  • Demonstrate strong writing, editing, and presentation skills to communicate to constituents through reports, presentations, and publications;
  • Oversee third party contracts related to the intercollegiate athletic program;
  • Ability to manage crisis situations and at the same time effectively maintain the flow of business and overall operations and overall department stability.

Qualifications for the Position

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education is required; an advanced degree is preferred.
  • A minimum of 10+ years of full-time professional management experience within an NCAA accredited collegiate athletic program or evidence of such responsibilities in professional or semi-professional sports management.
  • Record of accomplishment in recruiting high quality head coaches and student athletes.
  • Demonstrated success in developing effective student athlete recruitment and development programs, support services, and possess an advanced level of familiarity with NCAA rules and regulations.
  • Previous experience planning, organizing, leading and evaluating performance and outcome measures of programs and services and managing complex budgets.
  • Record of accomplishment in fundraising in support of the athletic program.
  • Experience supervising and evaluating employees, resolving conflicts, problem solving, and facilitating an effective interoperability of a diverse and interdisciplinary staff.
  • Proven ability to manage resources, including financial, human, and physical, to maximize productivity and ensure the highest quality of work.
  • Experience in working with marketing to promote the intercollegiate athletic program and draw support from the surrounding community and among alumni and friends of the program.
  • Enthusiastic about self-improvement and the professional development of coaching and administrative staff; proven ability to hire, promote, mentor, and supervise, and succeed in inspiring trust and teamwork in motivating staff to work hard and well together.
  • Demonstrated ability to bring about complex change in a thoughtful manner and implement solutions utilizing best practices tailored to the unique needs of the department.
  • Commitment to quality improvement in practice including measurement, data analytics, and evidence-based practices.
  • Have a deep understanding of young adult student athlete development and the skills to work effectively with a college-age population, international students, faculty, and staff.
  • Effective verbal, written and digital communication skills, including the ability to facilitate open discussions, and write clear and concise reports.
  • Strong interpersonal and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to collaborate and respond to multiple constituencies and make meaningful connections within and outside the department.
  • Possess flexibility, resilience, perseverance, and a good sense of humor.

Application Process

The Rochester Institute of Technology 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 April 5, 2021. For additional information please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director

Grant Higgison, Principal

DeLaina Jordan, Associate

danielparker@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com | djordan@parkersearch.com

Parker Executive Search

770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 118 | 770-804-1996 ext. 119

Additional Details

RIT does not discriminate. RIT promotes and values diversity, pluralism, and inclusion in the workplace. RIT provides equal opportunity to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, marital status, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientations, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, veteran status, or disability in its hiring, admissions, educational programs, and activities. For more information or inquiries, please visit RIT/TitleIX or the U.S. Department of Education at ED.Gov.

The hiring process for this position may require a criminal background check and/or motor vehicle records check. Any verbal or written offer made is contingent on satisfactory results, as determined by RIT’s Human Resources. RIT uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility for new and existing employees working on federally funded contracts that contain that requirement. Before considering employment with RIT, please read the language from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Justice by clicking on the associated links below:

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RIT provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York Human Rights Law, or similar applicable law. If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to your application for employment at RIT, please contact Parker Executive Search as indicated above.

Clery Act Safety Information:

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is committed to the safety and security of all members of its community. The Clery Act information is provided in compliance with federal law to inform current and potential RIT students and employees of crime reporting procedures; Campus Safety law enforcement authority; crime statistics for three previous calendar years; and other matters of importance related to safety and security on campus. You can obtain a copy of the annual Safety and Security report online at: http://www.rit.edu/fa/publicsafety/federalcompliance.html and selecting the link for the Annual Fire and Safety Report or by contacting the Office of Public Safety at (585)475-2853 or by sending a request to RIT Public Safety 61 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623-5603

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