Whitman College Provost and Dean of the Faculty Alzada Tipton today announced the appointment of Kim Chandler as the college's new athletic director and chair of Sports Studies, Recreation and Athletics.
Chandler, whose distinguished career spans more than 30 years, worked most recently in the office of the CEO for North Star Resource Group, a financial services firm. Prior to that, she spent 10 years as the athletic director for Macalester College in Minnesota. She also served as athletic director for Beloit College in Wisconsin, assistant athletic director for Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan and as a basketball coach at Ohio Northern University and California State University, Northridge, among other top-ranked programs.
Chandler will relocate to Walla Walla this summer and assume her new role in June, succeeding Interim Athletics Director Michelle Ferenz, who continues on as head women's basketball coach.
"I am very excited that Kim Chandler will be joining Whitman," Tipton said. "Kim brings a tremendous amount of experience to this position. Her vision for Division III athletics is perfectly in line with Whitman's mission and goals for the future. We are very fortunate to have such a skilled, wise and compassionate leader joining us."
In addition to providing strategic direction to the department, Chandler's responsibilities will include oversight of Whitman's 15 varsity and 16 club sports teams, as well as 300 scholar-athletes, 40 full- and part-time staff members, and eight athletic facilities, while managing an annual budget of approximately $1.3 million. Plus, she will work closely with the Admission Office and W Club to further college priorities and foster principles that encourage integrity, student well-being, diversity and inclusiveness throughout all levels of the organization.
Head swimming coach Jenn Blomme, interim associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, served on the hiring committee and said she is pleased with the search's outcome.
"We have accomplished so much in varsity athletics in the last 10 years, but there is even more we are capable of," Blomme said. "Kim's perspective on where we have been and where we go from here will be immensely valuable in developing a new shared vision and strategy for Whitman Athletics and SSRA, and we are excited to move forward under her leadership."
Chandler has a proven track record of success. During her tenure at Macalester, the football team made the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history. A long-time member of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators board of directors, Chandler has served at various times as president, vice president and treasurer. In 2009, she received the Women Leaders in College Sports Administrator of the Year Award for Division III
She says she is honored at this opportunity to join Whitman's team.
"I look forward to getting to know Whitman's bright, talented and passionate scholar-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty and alumni," Chandler said. "Whitman College is an elite academic institution with a prestigious and proud athletic tradition, and I look forward to building on this strong foundation."