Helping Leaders Cope and More

helping leaders cope

Helping leaders cope and the future of competitiveness in campus rec were two of the topics not answered in the latest virtual roundtable. They are answered here.

Did you tune into the latest COVID-19 virtual roundtable?

If so, you may not have had your questions answered. Fortunately, the roundtable’s panel has answered them here.

On the Panel:

• George Brown, the director of University Recreation and Wellness at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
• Matthew Hackett, the director of Recreation at Syracuse University
• Stefani Plummer, the former director of the Recreation Center at California Baptist University
• Rusty Vineyard, the executive director of Recreation & Wellbeing at the University of Idaho
• Iisha Voltz, the director of Campus Recreation and Wellness at Texas Southern University

Question One: Do you have any suggestions on helping leaders cope if you think they aren’t doing well?

George Brown: Showing grace and empathy means being vulnerable. When a staff member can say, “I have noticed this and am concerned” it opens the door for a conversation where care and compassion are not questioned as not genuine. It is hard in these positions of authority and the supervisor may reject the approach, but knowing you tried serves for greater trust moving forward. 

Stefani Plummer: I concur with what has been shared. We forget to encourage those who may be positioned above us. For every issue we may face as individuals, they are facing their own as well. And I have certainly found we do not know what is going on with everyone all the time. Check-in and start the conversation. It may not go too far, but I am certain the effort will be appreciated. 

Iisha Voltz: I would suggest talking to them, a simple note of acknowledgment/appreciation goes a long way. As leaders, people sometimes believe we are always strong and put together, but in reality we are humans too and have rough days and need morale boosting from time to time. These are tough times and we are all in uncharted waters. 

Question Two: Are campus rec departments becoming more like part-time Athletic departments in the next 10 years with the increase of competitiveness of non-NCAA club sports?

GB:  It is very possible that some components of NCAA programs that may become defunded and discontinued may align with club sport offerings. There are national governing bodies and campus/departmental considerations here, but there are definitely aspects of the NCAA sports programs that may become more club and less varsity/intercollegiate. I would be watching this trend in mid major and smaller NCAA conference schools (DII and DIII).

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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