Delaware Sports Blitz is excited to announce a new series we will be doing called Behind the Sports.
The Behind the Sports series is looking at men and women who prepare athletes for their best on and off the court ( SIDs, AD, educators, trainers and etc.). The series will also be looking at different careers in the sports field from media, operating an arena, tickets sales, public relations and etc.
Next in the series for Wilmington University is Dr. Linda Van Drie Andrzjewski who is currently the Executive Director of Title IX, Clery, and Regulatory Affairs at the University. Before moving to her new position, Andrzjewski was the Director of Athletics at Wilmington for six years, and before that she was Director for Compliance for ten years for the college. Andrzjewski also teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in sports management and holds the rank of Assistant Professor.
Name the job and a brief summary of what it entails?
Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski: I am currently the Executive Director of Title IX, Clery, and Regulatory Affairs at Wilmington University. This is a new position at WILMU. Our President, Dr. LaVerne Harmon, saw the need for a solid compliance program at the University and created the position. In this position I act as the University’s Title IX Coordinator and Clery Compliance Coordinator. I also work on federal compliance for other issues at the University. As the Title IX coordinator, I process all Title IX cases that arise at the University. As the Clery Compliance Coordinator I work with different groups to make sure the university is in compliance with the Federal Jeanne Clery Act which is a huge federal act under the direction of the Department of Education. While it deals with campus crime, it also deals with sexual assault (like Title IX) and requires us to publish our crime statistics annually. With both of these positions, I work to try to educate different groups on-campus about the laws and how the laws impact them.
I have also been teaching at Wilmington University since 1996. I have been teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in sports management both face to face and online. I hold the rank of Assistant Professor.
How long have you been in this area of work?
Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski: While I have only been in this position since February, 2018, I came by it naturally. My background for over 20 years was in Athletics. Prior to moving into this position, I was the Director of Athletics at Wilmington University for over 6 years, and the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance for over 10 years. I’ve also held several positions on committees at the NCAA. Therefore I have a very solid background in compliance. While it is mostly NCAA compliance, there is a definite mindset when you work in this field. You have to enjoy it and have this mindset. In addition, I have been working with Title IX from the athletics-end since 1995 watching it evolve, so I have a strong background in that law, even though it is from a somewhat different perspective.
What interested you to get in this area of work?
Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski: When this opportunity came up, the thought of working in compliance with higher education law intrigued me. In addition the idea to work to better assist Wilmington University, a place I have grown to love, made the opportunity even better. It was VERY HARD to leave athletics, especially working with students on a daily basis. I believe when you work in athletics you are wired a certain way. I used to somewhat joke that most of us are a bit “high strung” because we are all going a million miles an hour…at least my staff and I were…and didn’t seem to mind that much, because we loved what we did. However, now that I have had a chance to settle in to my new position, I have gotten to really enjoy what I am doing. I am learning new things each day and enjoying learning the ins-and outs of the law. Just like sports, the laws are ever-changing. Compliance is the same way. Things are constantly moving and need interpretations and education is needed. That’s what makes it interesting.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski: The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that what I do in the long run can potentially protect students and employees at Wilmington University. In addition, when I can educate people on why we have to do something I find it rewarding. The Federal laws often do not make sense when you read them in a book. If I can break them down for people to really understand I feel like I have accomplished something.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski: There are several challenges to the job. The first is breaking down barriers. Many people are scared to report when things are not right. That concerns me. I would rather people are comfortable to report things and have my office decide if issues are valid or not than have problems on-campus. The other challenge is educating everyone. Quite simply, not everyone knows about Title IX and Clery; therefore it is difficult to get people to abide by the law. With the amount of fines that the government is imposing for penalties (over $55,000 per penalty) this is troubling. I’m hoping to start this academic year off with a great deal of outreach to get the word out more about the laws to more groups on-campus. The last challenge to the job is simply the vastness of the laws. There is a great deal to know about compliance. I always try to read to keep up, but am worried I will miss something.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this job or field?
Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski: Whatever field you want to go into, go in with a passion. I started and have my background in athletics administration. That is where my passion was (and part of me still is in some ways). If you are going to go into a demanding job, you must have a passion for it. Compliance and law can be tricky. You need to be on your toes, and this demands that you have that drive and passion so that you do not miss something. Also, when you start your career, do not say no. I had a definite career path I thought I wanted when I left graduate school. However, the reality was different. I was offered some other jobs along with my athletic jobs and didn’t say no. These were in the student affairs field and they helped me get to better jobs in athletics along the way. More importantly, they let people know that I was willing to work and they opened the doors for me to more influential people who would be lifetime mentors. The best advice, given to me by my mentor is to always ask yourself each day, “What did I do to help someone today?” That will carry you not only through your career, but life.
If you would like to know more information about Title IX which Dr. Van Drie Andrzjewski is the Executive Director of at Wilmington University, click the link below: