KINGSTON, R.I. – January 31, 2007 –University of Rhode Island President Robert L. Carothers has announced that a search committee has been appointed to begin the process of hiring a new director of athletics.
Robert M. Beagle, URI’s vice president for advancement, will chair the search for the University’s 11th director of athletics.
Gregg Burke, who joined the University as deputy director of athletics in September 2004, has been serving as interim director since then. His term runs until July 1, or until a permanent director has been appointed.
“I am pleased that nine outstanding members of the University community have agreed to serve on the search committee,” Carothers said. “They represent coaches, faculty, alumni and students, each with a commitment to the success of the University’s athletic program.
“The director of athletics is the face of our athletics program, which is often the face of the University itself. We are seeking an individual whose character, temperament and skill will allow him or her to manage the program effectively and with integrity. Contemporary intercollegiate athletics is complex and under intense scrutiny, and assuring fairness and equity between and among men’s and women’s programs is essential.”
Carothers said Beagle will do an excellent job chairing the search because the vice president understands the role of athletics in fostering a sense of pride and community among alumni, faculty and students. “Bob’s enthusiasm for athletics, his high regard for our coaches and student-athletes, as well as his understanding of the role of athletics in building pride in our flagship University make him the ideal chair of this process.”
In addition to Beagle, the members of the search committee are:
• Jim Baron, men’s basketball coach, now in his sixth year at Rhode Island.
• Laurie Feit-Melnick, women’s track and field and cross country coach, who has one of the most powerful programs in the Atlantic 10.
• John Boulmetis, professor of education in the College of Human Sciences and Services and member of the Athletics Advisory Board.
• Barbara Luebke, professor of journalism in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Athletics Advisory Board.
• Laura DiSano, member of the United Way of Rhode Island’s board of directors and former member of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. A financial representative for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, DiSano earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University.
• Tom Ryan, a 1975 graduate of URI’s College of Pharmacy, chairman, president and chief executive officer of CVS Corp.
• Michael Bland, a sophomore political science major and member of the track and field and football teams. He is from Long Branch, N.J.
• Safi Mojidi, a junior computer science major and two-time All-Atlantic 10 honoree as a member of the women’s basketball team. She hails from Silver Spring, Md.
“These are outstanding individuals who are committed to their University and excellence in all areas, including athletics,” Beagle said. “It is a diverse group that will bring wide ranging opinions and perspectives to the search. It will be a dynamic process that seeks the very best candidates for the position.”
The URI Department of Athletics fields 22 intercollegiate teams with more than 400 student-athletes. URI has established itself as an Atlantic 10 power in track and field, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and men’s golf. Women’s and men’s tennis, as well as women’s field hockey have had great recent success as well.