ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 18, 2005) -- The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved Thursday the creation of a center within the College of Health and Human Services that is expected to strengthen links between the sports industry and Ohio's faculty, students and alumni.
The Center for Sports Administration, or CSA, will be located within the college's School of Recreation and Sport Sciences. Heading the new center will be James "Jim" Kahler, currently executive director of the MBA Sports Business Program at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Before he took that position three years ago, Kahler, an Ohio alumnus, worked more than two decades in the sports industry, including more than 10 years as senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His appointment as executive director of the center was announced Aug. 11, and he is expected to start working at Ohio in December.
"The appointment of Kahler and the establishment of the Center for Sports Administration is truly a defining moment for our university, college and the Sports Administration and Facility Management (SAFM) program as we move to solidify our position as a national leader in that field," said Gary Neiman, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.
The CSA is expected to conduct research on issues in the sports industry, with a focus on the practical application of knowledge. One of its goals will be assisting sports organizations and related businesses – both in the United States and abroad – with planning and resource development, Neiman said.
The center will be active in organizing conferences and seminars to help with the exchange of knowledge within the industry. Neiman also expects the center to forge links with international athletic organizations and businesses to promote cultural, academic and professional exchanges. One such global initiative will be to launch an executive master of sports administration program in Beijing.
The CSA will also have an active curricular and fundraising role. The educational aims include providing student development opportunities through industry mentorships and participation in sponsored research, according to the center's mission statement. As for fundraising, Neiman expects the center to develop partnerships with organizations in the sports industry to generate financial resources for academic programs and support services.
The Center for Sports Administration will strengthen a program already recognized as a national leader in the study of sports administration since its inception as the first such program in 1966, Neiman said. Last year, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal listed Ohio's Sports Administration and Facility Management Program as one of "five to watch," describing it as the "granddaddy of them all" and "the cradle of college athletic directors."
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