UNLV hires search firm to find athletic director to replace Tina Kunzer-Murphy

UNLV has hired Collegiate Sports Associates to conduct its search for a new athletic director.

The firm, based in West End, North Carolina, is run by former longtime athletic director Todd Turner, a high-profile name in searches who worked with some of the nation’s top programs.

UNLV will pay CSA $75,000 plus an office-support fee of $500 as well as any expenses directly related to the search. All such expenses, such as for travel and candidate background checks, must be approved in advance.

Nancy Rapoport, special counsel to UNLV president Len Jessup, will serve as chairwoman of the search committee, which is in the process of being formed.


“Collegiate Sports Associates is a national leader with expertise coordinating broad, thorough searches that draw diverse pools of candidates with deep NCAA and Power Five experience,” Jessup said in a statement. “They’ve led successful searches at the highest levels of college athletics, and we believe they’ll help us identify candidates who can move UNLV athletics to the next level.”

According to university bylaws, the committee will include “six members of the athletics faculty elected by the athletics faculty, one graduate student elected by the Graduate Student Association, one student elected by the CSUN Senate, one nonacademic faculty member elected by the Administrative Faculty Unit (excluding athletics), one academic faculty member elected by the Faculty Senate, one member elected by the Intercollegiate Athletic Council, one alumnus shall be nominated by the executive committee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and such nonvoting members as the president and/or committee shall appoint.”

Rapoport, who also is part of Jessup’s cabinet, said she was pleased with the progress being made to select the committee, but will have to wait for two student members because the next class session doesn’t begin until Jan. 17.

As for the nonvoting members, a determination will be made on the number.

“We want the committee to be representative, but if it’s too big, it’s unwieldy,” Rapoport said. “We know that the finalists are going to meet a lot of constituencies. The balancing act is do we add to the committee, or do we make sure the finalists really get to meet the full range of folks who are going to be concerned with their success.”

Once the committee is formed, it will work with CSA on advertising the opening. Rapoport hopes to post the job early next month.

“We’re going to show the committee a draft ad to make sure we’re all in agreement on what we want to send out as part of this national search,” Rapoport said.

Her expectation is to eventually bring in two or three finalists.

“The goal is open search, national reach, great feedback and the opportunity for the president to choose the person who’s going to be right for us,” Rapoport said.

Tina Kunzer-Murphy will serve as athletic director until the fiscal year ends June 30, then move to the UNLV Foundation. She has been in charge of the department since July 1, 2013.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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