Levick’s tipping point, New role explained

Health issues were the tipping point in Atheltic Director Cheryl Levick’s decision to step down and transition into becoming a special assistant to University President Dr. Mark Becker, she told The Signal Monday.

Levick’s new role as a special assistant to Georgia State President Mark Becker would include creating a new curriculum for the University’s athletic administration department.

Levick announced Friday, May 30, she would be stepping down as athletic director because of health issues in addition to recent conversations with Becker about the department needing someone who could commit longterm to help oversee projects such as the Tuner Field proposal. Her interests in teaching what she has learn over her decades of experience in sports administration contributed to the establishment of her new role.

Levick’s new role as a special assistant to Becker, beginning July 1, will be to help create a new curriculum for the athletic department at Georgia State to help fill—what Levick called—gaps she sees in the education.

This would involve traveling to the top athletic departments in the country and comparing the various curriculums to subsequently create a modern program for the University.

Levick said the idea of the role was inspired by the numerous times she noticed masters and doctoral programs for athletic administration not fully preparing students for “the reality of what we need in college athletics today.”

“If you hire those folkes who have those degrees, you would think they come in qualified, [but] they’re missing a lot of areas,” Levick said.

Gaps in the curriculum include all of the necessary law, business classes and facility development, according to Levick.

Once Levick has completed the task of crafting a new curriculum for the sports administration department, she said she will have to wait and see how it develops.

She did not know if the role would be continuous or something that could lead her to move on to another career at or away from Georgia State.

“We haven’t gotten that far,” she said.

The thought of Levick stepping down began to evolve roughly in the last 30 days when Levick and Becker had a scheduled department meeting. Levick decided to bring up the health issues at the meeting, and the two sides came up with a plan for her.

When Levick came to Georgia State, she told Becker she was interested in a five-year contract as the athletic director, but then would want to move back into the field of teaching or curriculum development. Becker remembered Levick’s interests, and helped create a role as a special assistant to him to help achieve the task.

This is something she actually talked about when she came to Georgia State,” Becker said. “She was going to do this job for five to seven years, and then wanted to make that transition back to teaching developing the next next generation of leaders.”

A national search was said to begin immediately by Georiga State following Levick’s announcement for a replacement.

Levick said Becker will handle the search and she is comfortable with whomever he brings in to fill the position.

“The only thing I will do is I’ll make sure that, to the best of my ability, nothing will fall through the cracks during the interim,” Levick said.

Because projects such as the Master Plan and the Turner Field proposal are still a major focus for the department, Levick said she will leave a list of all the department’s projects and the status of each. Levick said she would be available anytime if the future athletic director needs explanations or backgrounds on the projects.

“I’ll do my best to leave this position and every project in its best form.”

While she is disappointed with the timing, Levick said she is happy at where the department is even though she won’t be overseeing the department when the Panthers make it to a bowl game or Final Four appearance.

“I can list dozens of things that I would love to be here for, but I’m really proud that we’re in that position, and that these teams have those opportutnies, because I do believe I contributed to setting that up,” she said.

Levick arrived at Georgia State March 2009 coming from the University of Maryland as a chief of staff/executive senior athletic director. Levick inherited the—at the time—forthcoming football team that had its ingaural season in 2010, and helped move the athletic program from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Sun Belt Conference, thus moving the football team from FCS to FBS.

Levick also oversaw the release of the department’s master plan for the renovation of the Sports Arena and several projects for moving Georgia State sports closer to campus.

She brought in the sand volleyball team and had recently begun the beginning stages of bringing in a swimming and diving team.