CMU Establishes Athletics Director Leadership Development Program

MOUNT PLEASANT Central Michigan University Director of Athletics Dave Heeke has announced the implementation of the Athletics Director Leadership Development Program.

The department-wide initiative is designed to further instill the concepts of character development, social responsibility, citizenship and leadership in CMU’s student-athletes.

“This new initiative will combine the efforts of each of our varsity programs into an all-encompassing program that will reach across our department and involve each of our more than 400 student-athletes,” Heeke said. “We look forward to collaborating with leaders on campus, in the Mount Pleasant community and from across the country in this new initiative, which supports the Championship Experience principles that are the core of Chippewa Athletics: excellence in athletics, academics and social development.”

An advisory board that includes representatives from all areas of campus will oversee the program, which will consist primarily of a speaker series and student-athlete mentorship program. Advisory board members include Director of Minority Student Services Traci Guinn, Assistant Director of Residence Life Cal Seelye, Physical Education and Sport Department faculty member Steve Thompson, Director of Student Life Tony Voisin and Associate Director of Minority Enrollment Kevin Williams.

“We want to ensure we are doing all that we can to help develop high-character individuals within our department, and the involvement of positive role models from across campus and the Mount Pleasant community is critical to achieving that goal,” Heeke said.

The program will officially launch with a two-day campus visit by Janet Judge of Sports Law Associates LLC. A former assistant director of athletics at Harvard and soccer and basketball coach at Simmons College, Judge is listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Sports Law. She is a regular adviser to college and universities on sports-related issues and frequent speaker on college campuses and at national and regional conference events.

On Tuesday, April 14, Judge will speak on leadership to CMU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the captains of CMU’s varsity athletics programs. On Wednesday, April 15, Judge will address CMU’s coaches on issues surrounding social networking and the Internet, followed by a presentation to all of CMU’s student-athletes called “MySpace and Facebook: What You Need To Know.”

Topics of additional programs during the fall semester will include the university and student-athlete codes of conduct, citizenship and social responsibility.

In an effort to further collaborate with the campus community, several events throughout the course of the program will be open to the general student population.

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