About the University

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver (DU) is a private, doctoral-granting university with high research activity. The university has become increasingly known, nationally and internationally, for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, as well as its holistic, student-centered approach to learning known as the 4D Experience (https://www.du.edu/4D-experience), and its dedication to the public good through local, national, and international partnerships. The university plays an integral role in the cultural, social, economic, and educational vibrancy of the fast-growing city and region it calls home. Beginning in the fall of 2022, DU will also offer every one of its students the opportunity for a unique set of leadership and wilderness experiences at the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus, just two hours north of its beautiful urban campus (https://www.du.edu/about/kennedy-mountain-campus).

With nationally recognized academic programs, a history of widespread influence, a forward-looking vision for education and a deep commitment to promoting inclusion, DU opens a world of opportunity to students and empowers Pioneers to make a difference around the world.

About Denver

Denver is the second largest city in the entire mountain west and is home to 42,000 businesses, including 11 Fortune 500 and 21 Fortune 100 companies. Denver boasts six professional sports teams, as well as the 17th ranked market in Nielsen rankings. With 300 days of sunshine per year, Denver is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With a booming economy and steady population growth, the Mile High City will be a place many will call home for years to come.

About DU Athletics

Sponsoring 18 Division I athletic programs, the Division of Athletics supports over 350 student-athletes and is ranked 14th for most NCAA Division I championships with 33. The Pioneer Division of Athletics carries a rich history of success on and off the fields and the courts. The Division has produced 56 Academic All-Americans, 68 Olympians, and over 500 All-Americans. The Ski team has the most titles of any in the United States, and the Men’s Ice Hockey team's now nine national titles ties DU with Michigan for the most NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey championships ever won. Coached by Hall-of-Famer Bill Tierney, the Men’s Lacrosse team won its first championship in 2015, becoming the first school to win a national title outside the Eastern Time Zone.  Pioneer student-athletes achieve academically above the national average, with an average GPA of 3.35, and graduate at a 90.9 percent rate (2020–2021 school year). As a member of the Summit League, the NCHC, the Big East Conference, the Big XII, and the RMISA, the Division of Athletics has unparalleled national brand recognition. 

In the 2020-21 academic year, the DU Division of Athletics and Recreation won the Learfield Sports DI-AAA Directors' Cup for the eighth-straight time (was not awarded in 2019-20) and the 12th time in the last 13 years, finishing ahead of all Division I non-football schools in the 2020-21 overall Division I standings. DU has finished in the top 55 in the overall Directors' Cup in eight consecutive years of the award. 

About the Position

The University of Denver is seeking to hire an individual from a highly qualified and diverse pool of candidates to serve as the next Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Ritchie Center Operations. The successful candidate will report to the Chancellor, Dr. Jeremy Haefner and will participate as a full member of the Chancellor’s senior leadership team.

This individual will be responsible for the overall operation of the DU intercollegiate athletics program and its 18 varsity sports. This individual will also oversee the execution of NCAA Division I events, University events, Community events as well as the Highlands Ranch Golf Course operations.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Emphasizing a student-centered culture of academic and athletic excellence;
  • Recruiting and retaining coaches that perform at a superior level;
  • Fundraising not only for the betterment of the Division of Athletics and Ritchie Center Operations, but also for the betterment of the University, the mission, and the overall welfare of the University’s students;
  • Understanding the complexity of multiple conferences and negotiating conference membership;
  • Recruiting, hiring, managing, and retaining the Division’s coaches and administrative staff and maintaining a close, open, communicative, nurturing, and supportive relationship, while simultaneously establishing a firm culture of accountability for the University’s mission, values, and rules;
  • Developing, maintaining, and annually reviewing programs and procedures that, to the greatest extent possible, ensure the health, safety, recovery, and welfare of student athletes, coaches, trainers, and staff;
  • Developing, maintaining, and annually reviewing programs and procedures that, to the greatest extent possible, ensure the highest academic achievement for all student athletes. The Vice Chancellor shall instill and maintain a culture and environment of learning, including programs for academic advising/counseling, priority of class attendance, grade point averages, NCAA academic progress rates (APR) along with the NCAA and federal graduation rates;
  • Constantly reinforcing the University’s mission, values, and rules by utilizing best efforts to ensure that all academic standards, requirements, and rules are observed and satisfied, including not only those pertaining to student-athletes, but also pertaining to recruiting prospective student-athletes;
  • Always promoting student welfare first via educational, social, emotional, psychological, and physical development and well-being;
  • Keeping DU a winner by creating a focused, purposeful culture of academic and athletic excellence;
  • Ensuring that the Division has adequate and appropriate plans, policies, procedures, and programs that are in constant compliance with the University’s mission, values, and rules;
  • Ensuring, at all times, the fiscal/financial integrity of the Division, including, but not limited to, developing systems, plans, budgets, business strategies, etc. to anticipate, track, and report all expenditures, and to identify and pursue higher revenue opportunities without sacrificing the mission, values, or rules;
  • Planning and executing approved plans for maintaining buildings, fields, courts, and other athletic facilities that offer safe, capacious venues for competition, while maximizing multiple purpose uses of these facilities including, when appropriate, use by community businesses, organizations, and outside event promoter’s which does not interfere with use of those facilities by student athletes, students, and the University;
  • Representing DU athletics (in appropriate circumstances) with the local and/or national media;
  • Promoting the University’s constant commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, inclusiveness and compliance with the rules, including without limitation Title IX. The Vice Chancellor must have an authentic and deep personal commitment to equal opportunity at all levels of the Division and be able to instill and promote such personal commitment across all University constituencies.


  • Bachelor's degree required; Master's or other post-graduate degree in athletic administration, education, business, law or related field preferred;
  • Minimum 10 years work experience at institutions of higher education or similar experiences, completely comfortable working with student-athletes, coaches, administrative staff, compliance staff, faculty, university staff, alumni, and other stakeholders;
  • Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible management experience involving the administration of Division I intercollegiate athletics programs, or other related university administrative experience; deep knowledge and track record with fiscal/financial planning, budgeting, reporting; strong, focused, and firm fiscal/financial business management skills;
  • An intellectual curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning; demonstrated commitment to academic integrity;
  • Highest levels of personal and professional integrity, honesty, transparency, and trustworthiness;
  • Demonstrated experience advancing all aspects of diversity and inclusion, assuring gender equity and full compliance with Title IX; a strong personal commitment to diversity in the workplace;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide divisional financial stewardship of at least $37 million in annual revenue and expenses;
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit and retain coaches that perform at a superior level;
  • Experience successfully leading large, diverse teams of substantial complexity; experience and skill in recruitment, management, and development of senior level leadership;
  • A proven ability and track record to fundraise for and manage major capital projects; comfort level with sales and marketing for “experiential” products and services and/or consumer products; extensive experience with fundraising and donor relations; must possess an appreciation for the role that philanthropy plays at a major private University;
  • World-class people skills including but not limited to strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills with demonstrated eagerness to interact with, understand and relate to students, coaches, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, elected officials, media, etc. The Vice Chancellor must embody and balance the tone of an educator, coach, business leader, and public servant;
  • A strong work ethic; excellent listening skills; great attention to detail; the ability to make tough decisions, handle what feels like constant criticism, debate, and seek out feedback; strong negotiation skills.

Compensation Range:

The salary range for this position is Min: $325,000; Max: $400,000.  This position is also eligible for bonus compensation at the University’s discretion.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.


The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Application Process:

The University of Denver invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Applications must include a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae, and list of references. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted to Parker Executive Search’s website by April 29, 2022. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.

For additional information, please contact:


Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director

Grant Higgison, Principal

Taylor Middleton, Associate

Parker Executive Search

danielparker@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com | tmiddleton@parkersearch.com

770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 118 | 770-804-1996 ext. 124


The University of Denver is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


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