Parker Executive Search Seeks Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for MIT

July 30, 2019 – Atlanta-based recruitment firm Parker Executive Search is seeking a director of intercollegiate athletics and head of the department of athletics, physical education and wellness, and recreation (DAPER) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Daniel Parker, vice president and managing director, and Grant Higgison, principal, are leading the assignment.

The director of intercollegiate athletics and department head reports to the vice president and dean for student life and sets the strategic direction for the department in context of MIT’s mission and values, said Parker Executive Search.  Emphasizing education and continuous learning, the director/ department head is expected to provide leadership, supervision and motivation for department faculty and staff as they support the needs of the broader athletic community.

The director/ department head is charged with establishing vision and standards of quantifiable excellence in the areas of intercollegiate athletics, physical education, wellness and recreation, among other mandates.

Strong Leadership

Duties and responsibilities include establishing and managing the strategic direction of the department with a broad emphasis on leading and learning, said the search firm. The next director/ department head will also be expected to demonstrate strong leadership of DAPER’s programs and services; provide effective and strategic resource manage and utilization of facilities; administer and monitor the department’s capital budget, operations, and personnel budgets.

The director of intercollegiate athletics and department head also evaluates and manages MITs intercollegiate athletics, physical education, wellness, and recreation programs, said Parker Executive Search. He or she will also be expected to ensure staffing needs and professional excellence through effective hiring and management practices; develop and foster alumni relationships and establish DAPER proposals and strategic priorities for fundraising in collaboration with the Alumni Association and Resource Development, including leadership giving and capital gifts; plan and direct the development and implementation of marketing programs in conjunction with Health Fitness Corporation staff to educate and inform targeted audiences on the continuous improvement with associated metrics and benchmarks with a focus on increased recreational and fitness membership and overall participation annually.

Candidates should have an advanced degree in physical education, sports management, business or a related field is required, said Parker Executive Search. Also required is eight to 10 years of experience in university or college sports programs or a related field required, five years of which must be in a leadership and supervisory capacity with specific professional contributions to the field.

Job Requirements

Prospects must have demonstrated success in the area of staff motivation and empowerment in supporting the achievement of excellence. Experience in successfully leading others who are responsible for program and service deliverables is also essential.

Other qualifications include: demonstrated engagement and success in development/fund-raising strategies and efforts, experience leading a mission-driven organization and effectively managing resources, demonstrated ability to lead a complex organization in a diverse environment, and a commitment to the academic success of students and an appreciation for academic rigor.


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Founded in 1861 in Cambridge, MA, MIT’s mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. DAPER offers opportunities for sports instruction and participation at all levels. The department sponsors 33 varsity sports competing at the NCAA, Division III level, with the exception of MIT’s Division I rowing program. About 25 percent of undergraduates participate in varsity athletics. MIT’s physical education and wellness program offers a variety of courses for undergraduate students to complete the swim requirement and the eight-point general institute requirement. The intramural program offers competition in 18 sports with over 4,000 participants and MIT’s club programs have more than 800 participants and 33 teams.

Trusted Advisors

Parker Executive Search conducts executive searches for corporations, colleges and universities, and collegiate athletics. Its higher education searches number more than 500, including those for chancellor, president, vice president, provost, dean, chair and director roles. The firm’s clients have included Clemson University, the University of South Florida, Iowa State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, Ohio University, and others.

Mr. Parker has worked on numerous corporate vice president searches, collegiate athletic director searches and collegiate basketball, baseball and football head coach searches. He is also responsible for business development and candidate development.

Mr. Higgison works in the sports and higher education practices. He has been a coach and teacher at the Division I and Division III levels. With Parker Executive Search, he is charged with ensuring seamless communication with clients and candidates, including developing candidates, maintaining accurate candidate information, and overseeing interview logistics. Before joining the recruitment firm, Mr. Higgison was a benefits consultant with Aflac as well as a collegiate football coach.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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