Thursday, November 21, 2013

UIS athletic director Kim Pate keeps her eye on the ball

Three years ago, the athletic department at the University of Illinois Springfield faced criticism from several angles.

But those scandals faded after the new athletic director, Kim Pate, took the helm of the athletic department in June 2011. Pate and her team have improved participation, strengthened ties with the community, and set high expectations for themselves and their athletes. While Pate is quick to share the credit for the department’s improvement, her leadership seems to have been the catalyst for change, and she seems to have alleviated the concerns of even the department’s most vocal critic.

As Springfield’s largest institution of higher learning, UIS produces numerous graduates each year who stay in Springfield after college to live and work. Countless UIS graduates work in state government, health care, insurance and other industries that are vital to the capital city, so the success of UIS is tied to that of Springfield. A strong university athletic program is always a boon to the growth and prosperity of its host city, and Pate says college athletics is as much about learning life skills as it is about playing a sport.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to provide a comprehensive learning experience for students, where they get the classroom piece, but they get to learn beyond that,” she said. “They’re learning discipline and balance. We want them to go and do things beyond college and be leaders in the community.”

Pate was featured by the Illinois Times on November 21, 2013.

Read the article online