|Brian Faison named athletic director |
Brian Faison, special assistant to the president and major gifts officer at New Mexico State University, has been named UND director of athletics.
"Many thanks go to the search committee, chaired by Greg Weisenstein, for their efforts. It appears they had multiple qualified candidates from which to forward names for consideration by UND’s administration. Drs. Kupchella and Kelley were engaged at critical stages throughout the process, which resulted in their selection of Mr. Faison as UND’s next AD," said Phil Harmeson, vice president for general administration.
"A special thank you goes to co-acting ADs Betty Ralston and Steve Brekke. They performed admirably on numerous fronts, along with all athletic department personnel. Much needed progress was made toward our transition to DI on their watch," said Harmeson.
"Brian will have an outstanding opportunity to take a superb athletic and academic tradition forward, and to be an agent of change as we move our entire program into Division I. Given Brian's outstanding background in athletic administration, we believe our program is in excellent hands," said President Kupchella.
"I join the UND community in welcoming Brian and Donna Faison to the University and its athletic department," said Robert Kelley, who will start as UND's 11th president on July 1. "The University has a great deal of work ahead as we transition our athletic program into NCAA Division I. Brian's background suggests that he will bring a great deal of experience and leadership to that transition."
"I am excited about the opportunity to serve the University of North Dakota and the alumni and fans who provide such tremendous support to Fighting Sioux Athletics," Faison said. "All of our efforts will be focused upon successfully managing the transition of our sports to Division I classification, while maintaining the academic and athletic excellence the UND family has come to expect."
Brian Faison brings more than 30 years of experience in athletic administration, fundraising, marketing and media relations to UND. For the past 10 months, Faison has served as special assistant to the president and major gifts officer for New Mexico State University.
Faison's experience in Division I administration was gained while serving as director of athletics at New Mexico State University (1999-2004), director of athletics for Indiana State University (1988-1995), assistant athletics director at the University of Louisville (1984-1988) and assistant athletics director for Illinois State University (1979-1984).
During his most recent tenure at New Mexico State, student-athletes set semester and academic year grade-point average records, 12 student-athletes earned Academic All-America honors, athletic teams won 16 outright and/or divisional championships, 10 head coaches were named conference coach of the year, and one coach was named national coach of the year. In addition, annual giving, ticket and advertising revenues all set records.
Relative to UND’s move to NCAA Division I status, Faison led the NMSU athletics program from the Big West Conference to the Sun Belt Conference and to NMSU's current conference home, the Western Athletic Conference.
Faison has helped to raise millions of dollars for the institutions and organizations he has served. His experience in fundraising and development comes via serving his most recent stint as special assistant to the president and major gifts officer for NMSU as well as assistant vice president for athletics advancement (2004-2007). Faison successfully lobbied the state legislature, securing $21.85 million in capital funding for athletic facility renovations and additions and he secured the largest single gift in the history of Aggie Athletics, $3 million.
Prior to moving to Las Cruces, Fison served as director of development for the National Children's Cancer Society (1995-1999), assistant athletics director for development (and executive director of the Cardinal Athletic Fund) for the University of Louisville, assistant athletics director for promotions and fund raising (and executive director of the Redbird Club) for Illinois State University, assistant manager for athletic public relations for the University of Missouri (1978-1979), and assistant director for alumni activities for the University of Missouri (1974-1978).
He received his bachelor's degree in 1972 from the University of Missouri and is a 1997 graduate of the National Planned Giving Institute.
Faison and his wife, Donna, have three sons: Jonathan, Matthew and Bradley.
-- Jan Orvik, Writer/Editor, University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-3621