28 Jan 2017

embedded leadership in college athletics

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Positional embeddedness at Vanderbilt:

the AD, David Williams, has a history as university faculty member and administrator before becoming leader in athletics. He also workedin his local community as a school teacher and coach. This vantage point lends him valuable capacity to understand the university’s work from multiple angles and to see how student-athletes at his university are affected by various aspects of the university and community. And he can navigate key relationships, both in and out of athletics, with comfort and understanding. He is a boundary spanner who is embedded in an important leadership position.

From his bio:

“Williams’ key leadership role in the administration of Vanderbilt Athletics since 2003 has led to a bold new direction. Under Williams, the Vanderbilt program has had many successes on and off the field of competition, including an initiative to more fully integrate Commodore athletics into the total Vanderbilt student life experience.

Williams’ activities at Vanderbilt also include his being a tenured full professor at the Law School where he teaches tax law, sports law and education law. He has also taught a class on Law and Higher Education at the university’s Peabody College of education and human development, and occasionally teaches courses in the undergraduate curriculum.

He was named vice chancellor, general counsel and secretary of Vanderbilt in 2000 and previously oversaw Vanderbilt student affairs. He joined Vanderbilt after serving as a professor of law and in numerous administrative roles at The Ohio State University for 14 years.

A native of Detroit, Williams is a graduate of Northern Michigan University where he was a member of the track team. He also earned a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Detroit, and an L.L.M. in taxation from New York University. Before entering law school, Williams spent 10 years as a teacher and coach in the Detroit public school system.”

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