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Athletics Department duties reassigned as a budget-saving measure

The University of Maine at Presque Isle today announced the reassignment of administrative duties in its Athletics Department as part of campus efforts to balance the budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Effective immediately, Dean of Students Christine Corsello will assume leadership of the University’s Athletics Department and undertake the major duties of Athletics Director. As such, Dean Corsello will exercise all leadership roles in the Athletics Department and represent the department and UMPI at conference and national association meetings.

“It is not uncommon, especially in these tight economic times, for universities of our size and in our athletic conference to have an Athletics Director who handles other major responsibilities,” President Don Zillman said. “This very difficult budget year forced us to review all areas of campus and to make some painful but necessary cuts. These changes in Athletics came after months of talks with Athletics Department leadership and an in-depth review of all available options. This was the decision we came to that allowed us to preserve all of our sports teams and coaching positions.”

The University considered a number of different approaches in making a department consolidation, but having the Dean of Students take on major administrative duties in athletics was determined to be the most appropriate.

Dean Corsello has 17 years of experience in directing athletics programs while serving as the top officer for student affairs. She has overseen athletics departments while serving as the Dean of Students at two other institutions – the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts. In addition to understanding athletics from the administrative side, Dean Corsello also understands the competitive side, having competed at the NCAA Division 1 level in college.

“When Chris Corsello came to UMPI in 2007, one of her major responsibilities was to be the direct supervisor of all athletics programs with the objective of revitalizing UMPI athletics. She has done an excellent job of leading this effort – setting a vision, appointing Bill Casavant as Athletics Director in 2008, and working with him during the last two years to rebuild athletics,” President Zillman said. “The University would have liked to see athletics continue in this way under Bill’s direction and Chris’ supervision, but budget constraints did not allow for that. We appreciate Chris taking on these duties during these difficult times and look forward to the strong leadership we know she will provide in athletics.”

Dean Corsello said that, going forward, her goal is to ensure that a legacy of excellence continues for UMPI athletics.

“President Zillman and I greatly appreciate all the work Bill Casavant has done and the excellent leadership he has provided during his tenure here,” Dean Corsello said. “Our aim is to continue moving forward with the vision that has been established for our athletics programs and to provide the best sports experiences possible for our student-athletes.”