From the Desk of the Canadian Athletic Director: Perceptions of Core Competencies in Ontario University Athletics (OUA)
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Intercollegiate athletics are a unique and integral part of North American institutions of higher education. Through competition and achievement, intercollegiate sport in both U SPORTS and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is valuable to their member institutions. As a result, investment of time, energy, financial, and human resources are necessary within athletic departments. Given the Athletic Director (AD) is positioned as one of these resources (human), the purpose of this study is to understand the core competencies needed of OUA athletic directors to best perform in their role within inter-university athletics in Canada. Competencies are classified as, “clusters of skills, knowledge, abilities and behaviours required for job success” (Bernthal, et al, 2004, p.13). To explore, the current study conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with Ontario University Athletic (OUA) Athletic Directors. Findings indicated there are four overarching management categories: Strategic Oversight Management, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, and Marketing Management while Athletic Directors perceived core competencies are discussed under these categories. As well, an OUA Athletic Director Competency Model is presented that clearly described the research findings. The perceptions of Athletic Directors are further discussed relating findings to previous literature while both practical and academic implications and directions for myriad of future research opportunities are outlined given the paucity of research.