Athletic Director

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS


Intercollegiate Athletics

Position Overview

To be considered for this position, application materials must be submitted via and not KU's employment site.  

Opened in 1866, the University of Kansas is recognized as one of the finest public research universities in the country and is a member of the Association of American Universities. KU enrolls more than 28,400 students, employs more than 2,100 faculty members, and has an annual operating budget of $1.2 billion.

KU’s main campus occupies 1,000 acres on and around Mount Oread in Lawrence, a community of 92,000 located among the forested hills of eastern Kansas. The university also includes the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas; the Edwards Campus in Overland Park; School of Medicine campuses in Wichita and Salina; and educational and research facilities throughout the state.

KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

To lead our Athletics Department (the “Department”) into the future, our next Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (“AD”) at the University of Kansas needs to be an energetic leader who displays the following characteristics: 

Visionary & Inspirational Leadership:

  • Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills; strong culture builder who values ethics and integrity in complete alignment with the University of Kansas.   
  • Understanding of current landscape in Intercollegiate athletics, and the ability to see around the corner on future challenges and issues.
  • A leader that will build authentic and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders, especially donors, academic leaders, alumni and student-athletes.
Consensus Builder & Collaborator:
  • The ability to build consensus and unite all levels of constituents towards a common goal.
  • Transparent and trustworthy team player, who puts the greater good of the University and others first.
  • Strong recruiter and developer of diverse and talented teams, with proven success in building strong team morale and consensus.
Strong Business, Revenue Generation, & Fundraising Acumen 
  • Understands the changing landscape in college athletics to include multi-media rights, sponsorship and licensing deals, NIL (name, image, likeness) opportunities and challenges for student-athletes. 
  • Builds a strategic business plan that shows an acute understanding of the critical financial factors that drive intercollegiate athletics and works to enhance and optimize all avenues of revenue growth. 
  • Establishes productive relationships with alumni, fans, partners, sponsors, and new potential key revenue stakeholders. 
  • Works collaboratively with all sponsors and media partners to develop innovative programs, campaigns, and partner activations that enhance revenue and heighten the fan experience. 
  • Drives marketing and fan engagement strategies through all available channels with the goal of driving incremental revenue and increased attendance.
Credibility and Passion for the Student-athlete & Academic/Athletic Excellence: 
  • Sustains a student-athlete-focused culture of high moral character and strong academic/athletic balance that prepares student-athletes to be the leaders of tomorrow. 
  • Builds relationships with Coaches while providing support and understanding their resource requirements for success.  
  • Understands the competitive dynamics of intercollegiate athletics and remains rigorous and principled when it comes to moral dilemmas.  
  • Serves as a role model for integrity, diversity and academic excellence distinguishing KU. 

Job Description

The AD reports to the Chancellor of the University (Dr. Douglas A. Girod) and serves as a member of the Chancellor’s executive leadership team (the Cabinet). The AD is responsible for the overall operation of the intercollegiate athletics program and the Department. The University of Kansas is a current member of the Big 12 Conference and fields a total of 16 varsity sports. The AD is responsible for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the Department as well as recruiting, fundraising, and leading and developing its coaching and administrative staff. The AD is also responsible for growing revenues through sponsorships and new fundraising initiatives.  

The AD is responsible for providing support and resources for men’s and women’s sports teams to put them in a position to compete each year for conference and national championships. It is equally important that the AD ensures that the University of Kansas athletics program operates at the highest levels of integrity, including but not limited to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including those of the NCAA and the Big 12, and epitomizes good sportsmanship in all its activities. The AD is also responsible for student-athlete safety and welfare, encompassing athletic, academic and extracurricular endeavors. Together with the Faculty Athletics Representative and academic leadership of the institution, the AD is accountable for ensuring that student-athletes achieve academic success and have the support needed to reach their potential. 

The University of Kansas AD participates fully as a member of the Chancellor’s executive leadership team. The AD provides advice and input into discussions and decision-making on a wide range of issues facing the university. In collaboration with the other members of the Cabinet, the AD facilitates achievement of broader institutional objectives. The AD represents the university in a variety of settings around the country, including with the media and in athletics governance organizations such as the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Provide executive leadership and strategic guidance for the university’s intercollegiate athletics program, which includes initiating policy and providing supervision and guidance to employees of the Williams Education Fund.  
  • Serve as a strategic advisor to the Chancellor for intercollegiate athletics in addition to serving as the liaison to the Big 12, NCAA, and other athletic-related entities as assigned by the Chancellor. 
  • Ensure the integrity of the university’s intercollegiate athletics program, complying with applicable policies and best practices.  
  • Develop and manage a robust revenue strategy that includes partnerships and philanthropy to ensure the sustainability of the Williams Education Fund. 
  • Oversee all phases of long-term and short-term financial planning and business operations of the university’s intercollegiate athletics program, while maintaining financial and statistical records for management and planning purposes.  
  • Serve on boards of affiliated organizations, participate in university and association functions, and build strategic relationships with internal and external partners to advance the mission of the institution and association.  
  • Assume responsibility for any additional duties that may from time to time be assigned by the Chancellor of the University.  

Required Qualifications

Additional Qualities & Desired Traits: 

  • Highest levels of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness.  
  • Appreciation of the University of Kansas culture and the ability to navigate the balance between athletics and the core missions of the university.  
  • Demonstrated leadership in the area of collegiate athletics with the skills and relationships to revive, develop, and advance the University of Kansas brand.  
  • Elite fundraising skills, with demonstrated success in external relations associated with leading an intercollegiate athletics program.  
  • Proven experience and a strong personal commitment to advancing all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion; understanding of gender equity in athletics and Title IX compliance.  
  • The successful candidate will be a team player with a track record of being a skillful collaborator within complex organizations.  
  • Proven experience and skill in recruiting, developing, and retaining senior-level leadership positions, including head coaches.  
  • Strong business acumen, with experience and skill in fiscal management, including budgeting and financial planning, forecasting, and reporting.  
  • Strong communications and marketing skills with demonstrated ability to represent and motivate support for the mission, interests, and accomplishments of the University of Kansas to audiences across multiple channels.  
  • Strong interpersonal skills that demonstrate diplomacy, accessibility and respect for the accomplishments and viewpoints of the University of Kansas, the faculty, staff, and the student-athletes.  
  • Ability and willingness to be the outspoken voice for the University of Kansas on the national stage within intercollegiate athletics.  

Additional Candidate Instruction

University of Kansas has retained TurnkeyZRG to assist in the recruitment and review of all applications and nominations. TurnkeyZRG is now accepting applications from individuals who meet the qualifications and preferences specified herein. The position will remain open until filled.

In order to be considered for this position, application materials must be submitted to TurnkeyZRG at . Materials should not be submitted via KU's employment site. 

Advertised Salary Range

commensurate with experience

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


Primary Campus

University of Kansas Lawrence Campus

Employee Class

U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Job Family


Work Location Assignment



The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY 9for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

View or Apply

Similar Positions