By Jennifer Toland, Telegram & Gazette Staff
WORCESTER — Sean Sullivan's tenure
as director of athletics at Clark University was short but, he
hopes, significant. On Wednesday, Sullivan, Clark's AD since
February 2011, announced his resignation. He has been named
assistant vice president/director of athletics at Catholic
University in Washington, D.C.
"I would hope (my time at Clark) would be viewed as involving moments of significance," Sullivan said. "Of course, the overall job that was described to me as the ultimate objective when I applied at Clark, that job was not completed, but smaller steps toward those goals were certainly accomplished.
"Whether it was developing a more communicative partnership with admissions, facility upgrades, working with our coaching staff and student-athletes on enhanced effectiveness, or a clearer focus on what is required for competitive success while not sacrificing academic integrity — I think some of those smaller things we were able to make some gains on. But we certainly didn't finish the job."
Patricia Cronin, assistant athletic director/senior women's administrator, will serve as interim athletic director, effective today. Cronin has been on the Clark staff since August 2010. Sullivan will stay on in a consulting capacity until Nov. 1. A search for his successor will begin later this fall.
Sullivan said he is emotional about leaving Clark, but he called the opportunity at Catholic University "really, really attractive." He informed Clark's coaches and athletic staff of his decision late Wednesday morning.
"They are people that I care about," Sullivan said. "They are a group of really talented individuals who share in a dedication to all things Clark. We have worked very, very hard together for the past couple of years, and they themselves have worked, in some cases, decades moving the needle forward within athletics. It's, of course, hard to step away from them, knowing just how dedicated they are."
Sullivan helped establish the Athletics Alumni Advisory Board, enhancing relationships with alumni athletes, and recently oversaw the opening of the 7,000-square-foot addition to the Bickman Fitness Center. The Kneller Athletic Center also underwent renovations during Sullivan's tenure.
Sullivan said he enjoyed his time at Clark and in Worcester.
"It was fabulous," he said. "Learning about the 'Clarkie' culture and how that academic and athletic mix is created and how that integration shaped itself over time. That's been a lot of fun, a real pleasure."
Before coming to Clark, Sullivan was the assistant dean of student affairs for athletics and recreation for seven years at York College in Pennsylvania. He is a 1991 graduate of California-Santa Cruz.