Ohio University announced yesterday (Thursday) that it has hired Julie Cromer as the university's new director of athletics. Cromer is the first woman to serve as AD in the school's history, according to the announcement.
Cromer came to OU after serving as senior deputy athletics director with the University of Arkansas, according to a release from the university. She's also a member of the NCAA Division I's Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Directors for the Women Leaders in College Sports national organization.
During a press conference Friday, Cromer said she's excited to come to Athens, and said she thinks OU's athletics program has a lot of "potential."
"I believe in integrity, in transparency, in communication and inclusive excellence, and in shared governance, something I learned a little bit about at the NCAA," she said, adding that she'd like to prioritize community engagement "both locally and beyond" in her role.
She also said she'd like to make sure she fosters "individual growth and achievement" among the student-athletes at OU.
Cromer's base salary will be $295,000 per year, an OU spokesperson confirmed Friday. Her predecessor, Jim Schaus, who left OU for a job as the Commissioner of the Southern Conference, earned a roughly $285,000 base salary in 2018.
Cromer a variety of factors piqued her interest about OU (she was the top choice out of a group of four finalists for this job).
"It was the strong academic reputation of the university, the rich, inclusive campus history that goes back literally centuries, the opportunity to engage with campus partners, the potential to win MAC championships, (and) the passion and support of an alumni and fanbase that is proud and loud across the nation," Cromer said.
According to the release from OU, Cromer spent 10 years of her career in the NCAA national office, including as the director of academic and membership affairs, working to advance NCAA academic reform and other policy initiatives. She left the NCAA to join Indiana University as the executive associate athletics director, where she was one of the first women in the Big Ten to supervise all elements of a collegiate football program, the release said.
“We’re excited to welcome Julie to my leadership team at Ohio University,” OU President Duane Nellis said in the release. “Her talent, vision, and passion for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience will only serve to elevate our athletic program and our university. With a keen understanding and focus for ways in which athletics can serve as a front porch for our university, Julie is especially poised to enhance our athletics program, bolster our student-athlete experience, and increase academic engagement, and I am confident that Julie is the right person to lead our Bobcat Athletics family as we move forward.”
Cromer's first day on the job will be Aug. 31.