Saturday, May 31, 2008

AD White Heading to Duke

Kevin White, Notre Dame's Athletic Director for the last eight years, has accepted a position as the Vice President and Athletic Director at Duke University. While a replacement has not been named, President Jenkins has appointed Miss Conboy as interim director of athletics.

Below is the article:

DURHAM, N.C. - Kevin White, the director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame since 2001, will become Duke University's vice president and director of athletics, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Saturday. The appointment is subject to approval of the university's board of trustees.

"Kevin White is in the first rank of athletics directors nationally and will make a perfect fit for Duke," Brodhead said. "He has led coaches and players to the highest levels of athletic attainment while always remembering the larger goals of education. He is a superb communicator and a famous developer of the talent of others. He knows the business of intercollegiate athletics. And the quality of experience of student athletes is his highest priority. He is a passionate, inspiring leader. I am delighted to welcome him to Duke."

White succeeds Joe Alleva, who resigned in April to accept the athletics director position at LSU.

White, 57, has led Notre Dame's athletics program to success both on the playing fields and in the classroom, He also has held a number of prominent national leadership roles within intercollegiate athletics, including his service in 2006-07 as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and in 2005-06 as president of the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association.

His appointment follows a year-long strategic planning process for Duke Athletics.

"Simply stated, I am thrilled to be coming to Duke University," said White. "I have the highest regard for this institution and am excited about the opportunities in front of us. I look forward to building great relationships with President Brodhead and the University leadership, the faculty, our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and the wider Durham community."

Roy Bostock, a Duke alumnus and former trustee, chaired the 12-person search committee that carried out a national search for candidates and unanimously recommended White to Brodhead.

In his charge to the search committee, Brodhead had outlined a number of qualities he wanted the director of athletics to possess, including a commitment to "Duke's special tradition of athletic and academic excellence." Duke teams have won five national championships since 2000 and the university regularly is among the nation's leaders in overall athletic and academic performance. Duke's graduation rates for its student-athletes have ranked among the best in the nation, with its most recent Federal Graduation Rate at 91 percent.

Duke has been the top-ranked Division I school in the nation each of the last three years in the National Collegiate Scouting Association Power Rankings, which combine a school's Directors' Cup finish, athletic graduation rates and academic ranking in U.S. News and World Report. The Blue Devils also have finished among the top dozen schools and among the top five private universities in the last three Division I Directors' Cup, which rates athletics departments nationwide based on the performance of its teams.

In May, Duke's Board of Trustees approved the school's first Strategic Plan for Athletics, a broad vision for bolstering the experience and development of Duke's student-athletes while enhancing recreational opportunities for members of the entire university community. The plan calls for significant facilities development, strengthening of athletic scholarships and expanded programs for both intercollegiate teams and student recreation. It anticipates considerable resource development to ensure that Duke maintains and enhances its national leadership in both athletics and academics. The plan is available at:

Notre Dame traditionally has been a leader in the priority areas identified in Duke's plan. During White's eight years at Notre Dame, the Irish claimed four national championships - women's basketball (2001); fencing (2003 and 2005) and women's soccer (2004).

On the academic front, all of Notre Dame's 26 athletic programs achieved at least a 3.0 grade-point average in 2005-06, the first time this occurred in school history. The university received a 2002 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Award for graduating 90 percent of its student-athletes within a certain time frame, and also received the 2003 award for highest overall student-athlete graduation rate (92 percent).

White added a number of varsity scholarships and commissioned a facilities master plan that has guided Notre Dame's subsequent upgrading or opening of several athletics facilities. He also administered a comprehensive intramural, club sport and campus recreation program, with 95 percent of the student body participating. Sports Illustrated On Campus rated the Irish intramural program tops in the nation in 2004.

White, who holds a Ph.D. in education, has taught graduate-level classes since 1982 and currently teaches a sports business course in the management department of the Mendoza College of Business as part of Notre Dame's MBA program.

In August 2003, (the Sports Illustrated web site) listed White third in its rankings of the most powerful people in college football. In January 2004, The Sporting News listed him in its Power 100 as third among five names in the "front office" category (and the lone college athletics director among the 100).

White currently is a representative with the football Bowl Championship Series. He previously served on numerous NCAA committees, including the NCAA Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) that deals with academics, fiscal reform and student-athlete well-being. He also was an ex-officio member of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and a member of its Penalty and Rewards subcommittee.

Prior to joining Notre Dame in 2000, White served as athletic director at Arizona State University, Tulane University, the University of Maine and Loras College in Iowa, where he originated the National Catholic Basketball Tournament.

Before becoming an administrator, White served as head track and field coach at Southeast Missouri State (1981-82) and assistant cross country and track and field coach at Central Michigan (1976-80). He began his coaching career at Gulf High School in New Port Richey, Fla., coaching cross country and track and assisting in football and wrestling.

White earned his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in 1983 with an emphasis on higher education administration. In 1985, he completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management. He earned his master's degree in athletics administration from Central Michigan University in 1976 and his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1972 from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he also competed as a sprinter.

White and his wife, Jane, a former college track and field coach who is now an instructor with Notre Dame's physical education department, have five children.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Susan Sarandon: An Unwitting icon of the Democratic Party

My love-hate relationship with the DrudgeReport has proven fruitful once again with some recent pop news: "Susan Sarandon vows to move to Canada or Italy if McCain elected...."

My first thought: who cares?
My second thought: woohoo!!!
My third thought: what a hypocrite.

I have about a thousand thoughts running through my head so let me try to pin down a few.

If Sarandon leaves the country upon McCain's election, it will be verified to me that she is the most self-conceited woman I know. Not only would she simply abandon the poor who, as a Democrat and Obama supporter, she must love so dearly, but it becomes painfully obvious to me that she does not care enough about the people in this country to donate her time and money to those who need it. If I had a few extra hundred thousand lying around that I could throw into moving out of the country should Obama get elected, perhaps I would find a place where the grass is greener, like Ireland, to settle and retire.

Or, maybe, just maybe, I would love this country just enough to stay and stick it out and work to make it better. One could say that Obama's election would, in fact, necessitate my stay here. Whatever Obama could do to destroy America and its foundations, I know that I would be responsible for "saving" my fellow Americans from whatever evil of tyranny he decides to sign into law or whatever crimes against freedom he wishes to commit with his executive power. I am a citizen of United States of America, not a pawn of the President. I uphold and protect the interests of this country, not the will of the Executive Branch.

I find it absolutely amazing that someone like Sarandon can charade as a true American, being a slave to the vision of Democratic utopia. How many Democrats actually care for this country and its citizens?

God help us all.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Naysayers: Always Naysaying

Yesterday the Commerce Department reported that '08 first quarter growth was higher than previously thought: 0.9%, up from the initial estimate of 0.6%. I'd been anticipating this report because often times the initial estimates miss by a considerable margin, sometimes by so much as to change what appeared to be periods of negative growth to be positive, and vice versa. I'm guessing that when the report first came out, a legion of pundits on the left felt cheated when growth wasn't negative, as news of a deepening recession would have armed them with another weapon for cynicism. I didn't want to see a revision showed negative growth, thus rearming the naysayers.

For all that Obama and Hillary harp on the current recession, we are not in a recession. Most economists define a recession as two or more quarters of negative growth, which we are not experiencing and are not too likely to suffer in the rest of '08, either. Recessions by this definition, though, do happen, and not too infrequently. We survived the recession of 2001 with fewer prophecies of doom than we're subjected to today.

If we take the wrong approach to the current situation, though, we could set ourselves up for real failure. The kinds of quick fixes and interventionist measures proposed by Obama and co. could lead to growth actually halting, as opposed to slowing down for a short period of time.

Maybe it's the price of gas that's causing the public apprehension: people can't help but notice the price increases of filling up their tanks? Or Maybe it's the costly war in Iraq, or the highly visible Bear Stearns bailout? Or perhaps the subprime loan turmoil, which is wreaking havoc in neighborhoods not far from my own.

More likely, though, it's that Hillary and co. are heeding the words of wisdom that governed her husband's campaign, "it's the economy, stupid."

The direction of the economy is a surprisingly strong indicator of a party's success in election years. The New York Times noted in a January business article:

A recession could pack enormous political consequences. Over the last century, the economy has been in a recession four times in the early part of a presidential election year, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. In each of those years — 1920, 1932, 1960 and 1980 — the party of the incumbent president lost the election.
No wonder then, Obama's ads have featured him speaking in front of gas stations, promising the average Americans that he -- and the state -- will save them from the current economic malaise.

Too bad that the lefties' prophecies were not self-fulfilling. The reports of rising inventory investments are only a sign of a resilient economy, and if growth increases beyond 0.9 percent for the next two quarters, Obama may be out of luck. Perhaps he should start putting his eggs in another basket.

Based on ads that I have seen on TV (granted, Massachusetts is not exactly a looming showdown in the election, although South Bend was important during primary season), the focal points of the dems has been the economy. At first it was the war, as it was in '04, but then good news from Iraq changed their course. Perhaps we'll see the same dynamic with the economy.

Problems with Summer

Yeah, summer's great and all, but...

Over the past, three weeks now, we've been reveling in summer. The warmth. The lack of classes. The...the...

Yeah, I think that's about it.

To be honest, summer is TOO long. I work during the summer, I go to the beach, I do all the summer-y things. And, frankly, I'd rather be up at school (as long as it was warm) doing them with the friends I have at college. After the week or two of unwinding from exams and all that hullabaloo, I get bored. Bored with life down here. And I miss my friends.

So let's change summer vacation. Let's just break it up into one week vacations throughout the year. Or maybe Fridays off before football games. Let's get creative and utilize our vacation time. Because, I don't want to be part of the real world of jobs yet. Even if it is for only three months of the year. The real world scares me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer, Glorious Summer!

Well, school is out for the summer, and Rovers are scattered once again across the country, far from our collective home under the Dome. I'm back in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri (note our beautiful Arch on a summer day, above.)

As for me, I'm coffee shop and library-hopping, doing research for my senior thesis. I meet my second-favorite lunch, coffee, and/or library date everyday, in the pages of his copious writings. What could be better than spending hours each week encountering the thought of Pope Benedict XVI? Well, doing it on Notre Dame's tab. Thanks to my UROP grant, I'm able to focus on my research without worrying about holding down a full-time job. In case anyone is wondering, I pick up the lunch or coffee tab with non-UROP funds...and Papa Benny is a pretty cheap date.

Striking thought of the day, from former Cardinal Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity, a lovely book which is far more than the title implies:

It is only too easy for us to regard the Christian refusal, even if it meant the loss of one's life, to take any part in the cult of the emperor as a piece of fanaticism appropriate to an early period; excusable, perhaps, for this reason, but certainly not to be imitated today. Christians rejected even the most harmless forms of the cult, such as putting one's name down on the list of those contributing to the cost of a sacrificial victim, and were ready to risk their lives by such an action. Today, in a case like this, one would distinguish between an unavoidable act of civic loyalty and a real religious act, in order to find an acceptable way out and at the same time to take account of the fact that heroism cannot be expected of the average man. Perhaps such a distinction is today really possible in certain circumstances as a result of the decision carried out at the time. In any case it is important to realize that this refusal was far from being a piece of narrow-minded fanaticism and that it changed the world in a way in which it can only be changed by the readiness to suffer. Those events showed that faith is not a matter of playing with ideas but a very serious business: it says no, and must say no, to the absoluteness of political power and to the worship of the might of the mighty in general--'He has put down the mighty from their thrones' (Lk 1:52); and in doing so it has shattered the political principle's claim to totality once and for all. In this sense the profession 'There is only one God' is, precisely because it has itself no political aims, a program of decisive political importance:through the absoluteness that it lends the individual from his God,a nd through the relativization to which it relegates all political communities in comparison with the unity of the God who embraces them all, it forms the only definitive protection against the power of the collective and at the same time implies the complete abolition of any idea of exclusiveness in humanity as a whole. (pp 112-113)

I also must add that I'm spending my non-working hours finishing up plans for our August wedding. That's like a second job, in case anyone was wondering!

So what are current and former Rovers up to during these summer months?