Dartmouth Selects Leading Firm to Assist with Director of Athletics Search


Parker Executive Search, an Atlanta-based firm that recently oversaw the search for a new president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), will assist Dartmouth College with its search for a new Director of Athletics and Recreation, Acting Dean of the College Sylvia Spears announced today.

“We’re delighted to be working with an experienced firm like Parker that has 25 years of experience cultivating pools of strong candidates,” said Spears, noting that Parker led athletic director searches in recent years for the University of Notre Dame, Texas Christian University, and Emory University. “Their expertise in collegiate athletic director searches will allow us to run a thorough and comprehensive search in an efficient manner. We’re confident that they will help us conduct a highly successful search.”

Spears said representatives from Parker will visit Dartmouth’s campus at the beginning of June to meet with the search committee and with members of the Dartmouth community, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, to learn more about the College’s unique culture. “After these meetings we will work with them to finalize and post a job description,” said Spears, adding that she anticipates appointing the successful candidate prior to the start of the academic year in September.

Joseph BelBruno, Professor of Chemistry and faculty advisor for the Dartmouth football team, will chair the search committee composed of faculty, students, and staff members. Spears will be partnering with President Jim Yong Kim in the final hiring decision.

Dartmouth’s previous Athletics Director, Josie Harper, retired in June 2009. Harper was the Ivy League’s first female athletic director and served in that position for seven years. Former Deputy Director of Athletics Robert A. (Bob) Ceplikas ’78 was appointed Acting Athletics Director in July 2009.

The search for a new Athletics Director was originally slated to start last winter. Spears and President Kim—with input from colleagues in athletics, including alumni—decided that shifting the time frame would produce a stronger pool of candidates. “A clearer understanding of the impact of upcoming strategic budget decisions, campus-wide, will help the college attract the best candidates for the position,” Spears said in January.

Ceplikas will continue to serve as Dartmouth’s Acting Athletics Director while the search is under way.

Bonnie Barber