UMaine announces search committee for athletics director

Posted Sept. 30, 2013, at 11:01 a.m.

ORONO, Maine — Robert Strong will chair the national search committee made up of faculty, staff and external members of the University of Maine community that is charged with finding a new director of athletics.

The committee, announced Monday by University of Maine President Paul Ferguson, will provide the names of recommended candidates to Ferguson this fall, with the hope of filling the position by early 2014.

Strong is a UMaine professor of finance who serves as its NCAA faculty representative.

“I believe the search committee will have a tough task because I expect there to be many highly qualified applicants for this position,” Strong said in a press release.

Last month, Ferguson and athletic director Steve Abbott announced that Abbott would leave his position this fall after three years of service. Abbott will be returning to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a position he held from 1997 to 2009.

Abbott’s contract runs through December, although it was intimated his departure could come later this fall.

Ferguson has charged the search committee with identifying the best candidate to lead UMaine Athletics to a new level of achievement consistent with the Blue Sky Plan, demonstrating excellence in management of college athletics at the Division I level, including strategic planning, facilities, disciplined budget management, fan development and personnel management of the coaching and support staffs; excellence in development and fundraising; strong commitment to a culture of compliance and ethics; and strong commitment to nurturing the academic success of UMaine student-athletes.

Joining Strong on the search committee will be Richard Barron, head women’s basketball coach; Robert Dana, vice president for student life and dean of students; Eileen Flaherty, associate director of athletics for compliance; Leonard Kass, associate professor of zoology and chair, Athletics Advisory Board; Karen Kemble, director of equal opportunity; Kurt Marston, past chair, University of Maine Alumni Association Board of Directors; Jim Settele, director, School of Policy and International Affairs, and football faculty liaison; Seth Woodcock, associate director of athletics for development; Guy Whitten, president, M Club Board of Directors; and Judy Ryan, associate vice president for human resources (ex officio).

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