The UND search committee, charged with helping to find the school’s next athletic director, met for the first time Monday afternoon.
Thirteen members of the committee met in person in the UND Tech Accelerator building, while two members and a consultant joined via conference call.
Brian Faison, UND’s current athletic director, will retire Dec. 31 and stay on as a consultant for the department through the end of June.
The first meeting to find his replacement mostly debated the wording of the job description, which committee chair Tom DiLorenzo said he hoped to have posted the following day.
The first meeting generated one brief debate on whether the job description should require applicants to have NCAA Division I experience.
Sue Jeno, UND Faculty Athletics Representative, argued to include the language in the job posting to require prior Division I experience. She said the difference between Division I and Division II was too great not to have prior Division I experience.
Ralph Engelstad Arena General Manager Jody Hodgson and Drew Wrigley, an advisor at Sanford Health Systems and a former North Dakota Lieutenant Governor, disagreed. They felt the committee could vet the candidates without the job description eliminating potential applications.
In the end, the committee decided it didn’t need to require prior Division I experience.
The deadline for full consideration to apply for the job is Dec. 3.
DiLorenzo told the committee their mission is to ultimately select three finalists and forward the top candidate. He added that the final decision to hire will be done by UND President Mark Kennedy.
Joining the committee on the conference call was Bill Carr, a consultant for the search firm CarrSports.
Carr is a former athletic director at the University of Houston. He told the group he wanted to “assist and facilitate your decision-making process.”
Carr told the committee he’s conducting interviews with UND head athletic coaches, senior administrators, assistant athletic directors and members of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, among others, in order to compile an ideal candidate profile.
Kennedy said last month the school wanted to hire a new athletic director by Jan. 1. The committee, however, is now working under a timeline that would wrap up in mid-January, due to holiday breaks interrupting the process.
The committee will review the applications on a secure website. The group will then meet again to pinpoint how to weigh merits of the applicants.