June 10, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Citing the need for new leadership as the University of Wyoming approaches a new era of strategic planning for intercollegiate athletics, President Philip L. Dubois announced today that he has negotiated an agreement under which Athletics Director Lee Moon will leave his position effective immediately.
"We are entering a critical period for UW athletics that will require an athletics director who can bring to our program inspirational leadership, new thinking about UW's place in the top echelon of college athletics, and the ability to engender confidence and trust among the people of this great state, their elected representatives, and the university's many friends and donors," said Dubois. "I believe, and the Board of Trustees has agreed, that this university needs new leadership within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics if we are to achieve our rightful place in the Mountain West Conference and the NCAA."
Moon's departure is effective immediately. UW will pay Moon, who has three years remaining on his current contract at a base salary of $177,000, a lump-sum payment of $88,500.
"As we demonstrated in our dealings with Larry Shyatt and Vic Koenning, UW has an abiding commitment to the contracts it signs with athletics department personnel," said Dubois. "This agreement regarding Lee's appointment resolves his relationship with the University of Wyoming."
Dubois plans to chair the search for Moon's replacement, but will form an advisory committee to provide needed guidance and assistance in identifying and reviewing prospective candidates for the position. The search also will be conducted with the assistance of a professional firm with experience in identifying candidates for athletics management at the college level. Dubois has appointed Janet Constantinides, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and UW faculty athletics representative to the Mountain West Conference, to serve as interim athletics director during the search process.
"Janet has served ably as faculty athletics representative for the past six and one-half years and as a member of the Mountain West Conference Joint Council since the conference was formed," said Dubois. "She understands Division I-A athletics and she has worked closely with the excellent senior staff in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics." Constantinides has been a member of the UW faculty since 1967 and has more than a decade of administrative experience. She also served on the committee that developed operational policies and procedures for the Mountain West Conference.
"The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has a strong senior staff and a strong group of coaches, composed of men and women who know how to do their jobs as well as anyone in the conference," continued Dubois. "I know that, with their full support, Janet will help maintain UW's fiscal and academic standards as we search for a permanent director."
Dubois credited Moon for hiring several outstanding coaches, including Steve McClain and Joe Glenn; resolving issues regarding gender equity; enhancing athletics facilities; and hiring outstanding members of the department's senior staff. He noted, however, that an essential element of the Strategic Plan for Intercollegiate Athletics is enhanced fundraising, both from private donors and the state, to advance other goals of the plan - including the need for improved football facilities.
"Successful advocacy for additional funding requires someone who can get supporters, in both the private and public sectors, fired up about the future of UW athletics," said Dubois. "During the past seven years, Lee has certainly had his share of successes, including reducing the department's reliance on state funding for intercollegiate athletics from 55 percent to 45 percent, and eliminating the department's financial deficit."But the depth and breadth of our support must be enhanced significantly if we are to be successful," continued Dubois. "Those of us who care deeply about the future of the University of Wyoming and its intercollegiate athletics program hope, and believe, that new leadership for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will encourage greater participation by current friends of UW athletics as well as new supporters for the Cowboys and Cowgirls."