April 25, 2006
"I have been offered an extraordinary opportunity to join Stanford University. My involvement with the position really has taken place over the last three weeks, but obviously I have admired what has gone on at that university for many, many years. This entire process has transpired quite quickly and I look forward to the challenges and the rewards that come with the new duties.
"Stanford is an exceptional academic institution which also supports a very broad-based and highly successful athletic program, and it's that combination that is very attractive to me. I look forward to building on the traditions and successes of the past. I am a long-time friend of [former Stanford AD] Ted Leland, and I spoke with him during the process and he encouraged me to continue down the path to visit with them [selection committee]. I know what tremendous work he has done at Stanford, and I come in with great respect for that. I look forward to developing plans for the years ahead. Three weeks ago, I didn't envision ever going to another institution, but it seemed like the right place at the right time and I am very excited about the new challenges."
On his first order of business when he arrives at Stanford...
"I think I better find a place to live, perhaps even before then. I think it's just a matter of familiarizing myself with the people that are in place and the functions that they undertake. I'll start that process almost immediately with departmental flow charts and budget review, and some of that kind of stuff. But basically, I need to get to know the people and the systems that are in place and begin the process of familiarizing myself with student-athletes and with the coaches and listening to them as much as anything. It's very much an educational process for me, and I think it's an opportunity for them to get to know what to expect from me, as well."
On what challenges the search committee indicated that he might face...
"I think they were looking for someone that had the right set of philosophical principles, and I think Ted always had that - a great concern for the academic integrity of the institution, a commitment to ensure that student-athletes coming to the institution are serious students who wan to get a world-class education at the same time they're having a world-class athletic experience. We didn't spend a lot of time talking about the specific issues. I think they were looking for me to represent the values that have typically been represented by the university and by Ted as my predecessor. I'll have opportunity to assess and visit with people about what the challenges are, but I'm aware of some of them. It wasn't an interview that was expected to determine how I solved all the problems; it was an interview that was expected to determine whether I was a good fit for them and Stanford was a good fit for me.
On why Stanford is a good fit for him...
"I've had a national profile that is somewhat attractive to the institution, I think that Stanford is unique among great universities. When you talk about Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Yale and Princeton, it's the only one of those that has a major athletic program. In my experiences within the Big Ten and at the University of Iowa, I have long adhered to the highest standards of integrity and that's particularly true when it comes to academic integrity. That has been demonstrated over 25 years as a director and so. A role within the Pac-10 conference, a role on campus, a role nationally is certainly part of the job. But I think more than anything else, it's somebody who can come in that understands and embraces what it is that Stanford University stands for and is willing to ensure against all other possibilities that those standards are retained and in fact enhanced.