Vanderbilt's New Chancellor An Unknown On Athletics

Greg Arias

Vanderbilt University has a new chancellor, the ninth in its history. Daniel Diermeier an internationally renowned political scientist and management scholar, has been elected to that position by the universities board of trust. 

The announcement on Wednesday brought swift reaction from fans of the universities athletic programs because of a lack of experience with athletics in Diermeier's resume.  

Diermeier will not assume his new position offically until July, 1 2020 which means that athletic director Malcolm Turner will proceed with his current plans at least until that date. 

It's impossible at this point to know exactly how Diermeier perceives athletics in the university setting. He comes to Vanderbilt from his current position as the provost at the University of Chicago, where he previously served as dean of the Harris School of Public Policy. 

That doesn't sound very athletic, and the University of Chicago, with all due respect is not an athletic powerhouse in any sport as a member of Division III with 20 sports among the schools sports offerings. 


New Chancellor
New Chancellor Daniel Diermeier: Photo Courtesy of Vanderbilt University

While there are many unknowns surrounding Diermeier from an anthletics standpoint, one would be wise to assume that with Vanderbilt having spent the funds needed to conduct these new studies on the infrastructure of the athletic facilities that the members of the board of trust would know , and have asked approproate questions of the then candidate during the interview process. 

One would assume that of course, but there is no way to know with absolute certainty.

What we do know is tha Turner, while publicly quiet on many things, seems to be a strong personality who will go to bat for the needed improvements to upgrade all sports university wide. 

There's a new top Commodores, and hopefully his athletics Admiral can impress upon him just how much these improvements will help his new ship. Athletics can be an engine that drives big revenue when all the parts are in place and the engine is running at max capacity. 

Let's hope Diermeier wants a big motor and supports Turner with whatever he needs to make it happen.