Editorâ€™s note: Fred Glass sat down with The Herald-Times Tuesday to answer some questions about his new job as Indianaâ€™s athletic director and the challenges ahead.
Q: How will you approach your first few months on the job?
A: You know, when this whole thing started, I re-read “Being Lucky,” which is his (Herman B Wells) memoir. When he, at a young age, was made the Dean of the Business School and didnâ€™t have much background in academic administration, he said â€œI just talked to everybody I could talk to.â€ Thatâ€™s what I want to do. Iâ€™ve already started laying the groundwork. Iâ€™ve asked all the coaches if theyâ€™ll meet one-on-one before the first of the year. Meet with all the athletic senior staff one-on-one before the first of the year. Identify key donors, alumni folks, boosters so there wonâ€™t be a lack of stakeholders represented. I think that will help me a lot (to) get a sense of the landscape. So based on that and hopefully an analysis of best practices in other departments, weâ€™ll really start charting a course and a vision that people buy into. And I think weâ€™ve got so many resources here at the university that we can utilize that maybe havenâ€™t been as utilized in the past, including the business school and some of the tools they would have. Thereâ€™s a lot of ways to leverage our resources and get more bang for our buck. Thatâ€™s a big passion of mine, to integrate the department with the university and vice versa.
Q: Do you have knowledge of NCAA compliance?
A: I have been in sports, and the business of sports and sports regulation. But am I an expert on the fine points of NCAA and Big Ten compliance? Iâ€™m not. But I think this is a team sport. I think I bring some attributes to the party that are a little different than you might typically expect in a sitting athletic director or senior person in an athletic department. But by the same token I donâ€™t have that blocking, tackling knowledge. But thatâ€™s why you have a department. I think taken together weâ€™ll be able to meet the demands of the department. Like I said, a lot of itâ€™s about vision, leadership. Compliance is job one. Following the rules, and making sure that Indiana is known for following the rules again, is my prime goal.
Q: How will your past experiences help you in this new job?
A: I think the fund-raising piece and experience will be helpful. I think working on major capital projects will be helpful. I think the fact that Iâ€™ve interacted with the public will be helpful. I understand what itâ€™s like to work in a governmental environment. I think all those things will be helpful. But I think the essence of it is, at least for me, the opportunities Iâ€™ve had have really ingrained in me the important of leadership, judgment and accountability.
Q: What are the biggest challenges facing the athletic department?
A: Those of us who love Indiana University have been shaken by the NCAA infraction situation, and I think a big need is to try to get that in our rear-view mirror and start getting people to understand we follow the rules, our kids go to class, they graduated and we excel on the field, court, pool, course. Weâ€™ll see when the infraction report comes down and what that means. Weâ€™re last in the Big Ten in terms how much we spend on a per-sport basis. Feels like weâ€™re going to need to find ways to generate revenue. I think thereâ€™s a lot of strengths to build on. I think Rick Greenspan has done a lot of great things for this university, but I think we need to take it to the next level.
Q: Why did you opt not to have a contract?
A: I guess I concluded that you can have all the stuff you want in a contract but ultimately youâ€™re betting on yourself on whether youâ€™re going to be successful or not. If youâ€™re not successful, you need to move on and if you are successful all that contractual stuff isnâ€™t important. Iâ€™m comfortable being an at-will employee.