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Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Final decision delayed

After several months of consideration, UC Davis’ search for a new athletic director has been delayed for a second time.

The recruitment advisory committee, which has been charged with helping Chancellor Linda Katehi examine the possible candidates, pushed back its estimated time frame for a final decision from “late winter-early spring” to a rough goal of early summer.

“I’m guessing that the official announcement will occur after commencement [June 15 to 17],” said Fred Wood, vice chancellor and head of the recruitment committee. “Hopefully not, but the important thing is that we gather all the necessary input.”

The most recent delay was made to facilitate input from the Academic Senate, which requested to have its voice heard on the matter. The Academic Senate’s deliberations have not yet been completely formalized, but it has given the Committee the green-light to continue considering candidates.

The search had been previously delayed in the fall to facilitate public comment, including the four town hall meetings held in October and November.

The committee is currently considering applicants —whose names are being kept confidential. Over the next few weeks the committee plans to narrow the field down to a longlist of roughly eight to 10 semifinalists.

Wood said the committee will then conduct interviews with the longlist and he expects to have shortlist finalists by mid to late May.

Once the shortlist is reached the finalists will become public and will be asked to make a visit to the campus in order to meet with staff in the athletics department and to interact with the students.

The visits would also include individual open forums for each applicant.

“[In the open forum, each candidate] will be given a topic to talk on,” Wood said, “and then they will answer questions. So it will be a great opportunity for students and other members of our community, both on and off campus, to come ask [the applicants] questions.”

The campus visits would also ideally include time for each of the finalists to meet with Katehi although Wood conceded that this might be difficult to accommodate due to complexities in coordinating schedules.

As the search continues, the committee has been given specific qualities to look for in a new head of UC Davis Athletics.

“The Chancellor’s direction was very clear: She wants to place a lot of value on the academic integrity [of the finalists],” Wood said. “We want our student-athletes to be able to graduate and find successful careers.”

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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