EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University President Henry S. Bienen announced Dec. 18 that Robert Gundlach will serve as interim athletic director, effective Jan. 1.
"He will serve in that position until a permanent athletic director is named to replace Mark Murphy," Bienen said. Murphy resigned this month to become president of the Green Bay professional football team.
"I am pleased to help by serving as Northwestern's Interim Director of Athletics and Recreation," Gundlach said. "I have a lot of respect for the staff of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, the coaches of our intercollegiate teams, the leaders of our recreational sports programs, and our student-athletes. I look forward to supporting their efforts."
Gundlach, program director in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Writing Program, has chaired the University Committee on Athletics and Recreation from 1988 until 1992, and since 2002 has been Northwestern's Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.
In 2005-06, he was chair of the Big Ten Faculty Athletics Representatives. He is currently chair of the Big Ten Academics and Eligibility Subcommittee and is a member of the NCAA Academics, Eligibility, and Compliance Cabinet. In these assignments, he has worked closely with Mark Murphy, associate athletic directors, coaches, staff and students.
Gundlach, who received his Ph.D. at Northwestern in 1977, joined the faculty and has served as founding director of the Writing Program. He is also professor in the department of linguistics, where he was department chair from 2004 until 2007.