Nashville: Vanderbilt AD Malcolm Turner resigns; Candice Lee to be interim


Couple of days ago. We heard the news from Nashville. The now come. Turner was moving on and Candice Story. Leave was taking his place as the interim athletic director and we're delighted to welcome to the program in her first interview with us. I can't thank you and I know difficult time but you certainly have to take on the responsibility. You certainly have had an exemplary record. As a former player and captain and obviously as a top assistant in that athletic department. Thanks for being here and Great to have you on. Thank you so much. I'm I'm glad to be here. Thank you very much. So let me ask you. You're basically In operating position in this Athletic Department of key a key role and this happens and you are tasked now with with with being in charge. I know you're prepared for it but it's still had to. How did it feel to suddenly be handed the keys to the store so to speak? Well certainly It was unexpected but when presented with the opportunity. I was excited to step up and serve in this way. You know. I think we all are student. Athletes all the time that they have to be ready. Expect the unexpected and be Nimble and be flexible so it gave me an opportunity to demonstrate that I know having experienced the student athlete Role at vanderbilt playing such a prominent role there and then being in this athletic department for so long For the most part under David Williams leadership You learned a great deal that That would help you be prepared for this day. But but what do you lean on? Because it's a tough role not that there's anyone that doesn't think you're capable of it but it's it's a little bit lonelier of at the top isn't it now. I understand exactly what you're saying and David. I had the the opportunity to learn under him for several years and Had the opportunity to work with Malcolm and and just have built up very fortunate enough to have built up a great network across campus and this conference but also across the country Have have relied on that pretty heavily even prior to getting into this position. But certainly now understand that. I've got great resources at my disposal and I'm I'm not afraid to tell rely on folks and lean on people and just Do everything I can to be prepared for this challenge and I guess I would rather call it an opportunity rather than a challenge but I do know it's a big job and I've got great resources at my disposal. Kansas I'm talk show host. I don't know all the machinations of how schools operate in terms of Interim Your interim assistant chancellor as well as athletics director Where are we going to forget me? Where are you right now? In terms of the process for when this job changes from interim to to permanent at this point I can tell you. I am just focused on doing the job. It's not ultimately up to me What will happen with that interim title? I think that the part that I can control is just showing that as an athletics department and as a university we're moving forward and I'm happy to be at the helm and do everything. I can to support our staff. Our student athletes are coaches and and be what Commodore Nation expects us to be. But it's a great question. I know I understand why you're asking. I just know that I have to control what I can control. I think you could also I guess my next question. Because in in the press release it talked about the significance of your higher As the first African American and I I know we live in a world when when when that is not made as big of a deal as it used to be. Thank goodness but it's still part of The description and the school put it out. We didn't we didn't say it. They did Your reaction to that. I'm humbled I'm humbled by Just their reaction. The divers see from so many people who you know in some ways. It's unfortunate that we're still talking about the first and I Kind of to your point. But I've said this before and I will continue to say it. There's not a lack of talented people out there whether we're talking about women or men or people of color it's just been a lack of opportunity and so if if if this by just being in this interim role even provide more access and more opportunity for people who know are qualified and. I'm very thankful to be a part of that. You don't want to ask you about about that part of it Because I'm struggling to to be frank about asking this in terms of being the first woman because it. It is fairly shocking. And I know you. You're living and I'm just describing in twenty twenty to have that description and I'll just my wife who happens to be a vanderbilt person. I hear every day so if it had been if it had been a woman You know what I'm talking about there and talk about that responsibility because I know when you are the first you represent a lot of people who probably should have been there earlier but didn't give that didn't get that opportunity. Yeah I consider it a very big responsibility and I it's a privilege to sit in the role but with the role with the privilege comes great responsibility and and I think that again until we start talking about. So it's it's certainly wonderful to be the first but until you start talking about the second and the third and the fourth and the fifth. It's just it's just clear we have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do. But you know I think that I feel humbled and honored to be in the space but I just WanNa do a great job so that people understand again. It is not the lack of people who are prepared to excel. It's just the lack of opportunity. Well let's get all the All the titles out of the way and talk about what we're going to do which is which is the reason why you're in this position and I think we're we're all interested in. I realize you're you're just you're just moving into it but but we we'd all like to hear about your thoughts and plans and visions as much as you've been able to put them together. Sure sure as much as I can put them together on in nine days. I I would say that you know. We've we've been really clear that we're not pushing the pause button and we had some great momentum coming into this academic year and even into this semester and that is continuing so our most immediate focus is on our strategic plan which we've been working on for several months now and are preparing to roll out publicly in the next probably couple of weeks. Certainly I expect. It will be out by the end of the month and that is going to Allow our fans and everybody to see what our priorities will be for roughly the next four or five years And then all of our decisions will flow from that. And I'm really proud to have been part of that process because it included just a a wide range of stakeholders so from alums to current student. Athletes Coaches administrators to board members to Central Administration. We it involved a lot of people and I think that that's really indicative of the fact that argument adversity understands the value that athletics can bring and I hope that it will allow people to raise their expectations of us. We're not afraid of those expectations and quite frankly we need to be a little more communicative and transparent about them. So this will be a great first steps first step towards that and I stress first step. Because it's going to outline priorities but that's when the work really begins and so- facilities will be a part of that and as we as we begin to codify those things will roll them out but I think what people can expect to see in the next couple of is okay. Here's the here's at least high level here. Are The priorities finally Kansas? You're in a unique position your your letter for years. You're captain of the basketball program. You have three degrees from Vanderbilt. You know everything that is said outside of that bubble all the noise about the commitment to athletics at a at a just a truly remarkable academic institution your doctor. You can testify to better than I can so so if you could try to answer some of that because the noise never ends about Vanderbilt's commitment to intercollegiate athletics. Now you're correct and you know I I I I hear it. As as as you've said and we know that we know what that commentary is I would say that I appreciate the passion that everybody has about us. There are high expectations of Vanderbilt Athletics. And I share that same passion and I. It has been made very clear to me that as a university we are moving forward and we are moving forward with the understanding that athletics has a great platform to unite all of us. You know we think if you walk around our building you'll see on some of our walls this mantra of the city the degree in the SEC. And we think that that's a proposition that is unique to us that that not only that we can sell but we believe in so in the backdrop of this fantastic city with a academically selective institution that second to none in the best conference in the country. I understand why everybody is interested and they just want reassurance that we're rowing in the you know we're going in the same direction and by all accounts every indication that I've received in this role is that's exactly what we're doing so I feel very confident about that. I'm sorry Paul no no I just. I'm inspired listening to you. I just can't wait to hear more so what I want. I want to close by asking you about what you referred to a minute ago. In terms of of of a reveal of of of of a vision plans. How how does that come together when you are you and your team. I mean it's not There are a lot of people that they're at. They're at work and putting this together. What is the process? So at this point we have gotten. We've gathered all the Intel. We've had all the interviews we've put structure around this and now it's a matter of of rolling it out and What will be a branded campaign and we will slowly start to tease out pieces. So that that's Kinda. We're just working on some internal details now. But that's what combination and everybody can expect to see in the next couple weeks that will actually start to articulate this and they public way and you said it involves Just like it did at the beginning. It's now involving several people to to conclude what is just a first step in the process. It's just a first step to get an announced in minutes a matter of US meeting those expectations which were really excited to do. Can destroy the joining us the interim vice chancellor for athletics at Vanderbilt. I hope you'll come back. We certainly appreciate your time today. Kansas thank you so much and I I really appreciate you and thanks for everything you do and I look forward to coming back. Thanks a lot. I can't wait all the best to you What a remarkable remarkable conversation there and I I don't really know what their next move is. But it's hard for me as just an observer to imagine that She will not be in that position permanently in fairly short period of time. What an incredible woman and we thank you for being with

Coming up next