New position geared to combine, organize different departments

Spring 2013 at Laramie County Community College should be full of sunshine, flowers, pickle ball, volleyball, basketball and…a full-time athletic director position?

LCCC’s president Dr. Joe Schaffer brought forward his decision to create a full-time athletic director position to the board earlier this year as part of the budget approval process. His announcement was met with a fair amount of approval and questioning. Some board members question the necessity of a full-time athletic director, how that would fit into LCCC’s budget and what implications would that position include. Currently, in a discussion phase, the board will get back to the president with their consensus on the new position.

Focus is on students

“The biggest thing is students,” Schaffer said concerning the need for this full-time position. Last year, Student Government Association meetings made the president aware of students’ concerns with the running of the gym facility and their ability to make use of it, Schaffer said.

In an effort to provide better services through scheduling and coordinating activities for students to get involved in, Schaffer brought this position to the board. The new position would serve several functions in the areas of athletics, physical education, gym-related activities, community use of the gym facilities and an intramural sports program, Schaffer said.

“We need to consolidate these. You can’t do it with fractional people,” Schaffer said when addressing the need for a full-time overarching position. This person would coordinate all the functions of the gym facilities and make sure students are receiving the best use of their money, Schaffer said.

He commended the heads of the athletics, physical education and activities departments, but he also pointed out that currently all those positions are part time.

Getting the most bang for your buck

Creating this full-time athletic director position would allow better focus on providing the best all-around experience for LCCC students, Schaffer said. Being involved in extracurricular physical activities is a great way to relieve stress and make new friends, Schaffer said. Better coordination through a paid position would allow students to obtain the maximum benefit from those facilities, Schaffer said.

“We are responsible for providing a golden experience for LCCC students.”
Ed Mosher, Trustee

Not necessarily in opposition to the new position, some board members questioned it while brainstorming for the best solution possible. Trustee Ed Mosher would like to present another idea to consider.

Different title is better fit for position

“I like the idea of an activities director,” Mosher said. “The title sends a message.” If it is an “athletic” director, that implies a focus on athletics, he said. Having an activities director would envelop a wide range of different types of activities, not necessarily physical, in order to put the focus on broadest population of students, he added.

It is a matter of money in many ways because whatever the state will provide the college and the money the college already has, there is a need to focus the budget in areas that will benefit the widest range of students, Mosher said. “This is an umbrella position,” Mosher said.

An activities director would be responsible for working with academic-related programs, with student services and with departments situated in the gym facilities to coordinate times and events to best benefit students, Mosher said. This position would be in charge of organizing and managing the use of the gym facilities, he added.

Most importantly, Mosher wanted to make clear that the board, alongside the president, want to do whatever is necessary to provide the best experience for students. “We are responsible for providing a golden experience for LCCC students,” he said.

Search starts soon

Right now, the timeline is to begin searching in mid to late fall for someone to fill the new athletic director position as long as the board approves, Schaffer said. Also, combined efforts from Schaffer and the LCCC board members have developed a plan to bring students their long-awaited intramural sports program with or without this new position filled.