Kim Chandler, whose tenure as athletic director at Macalester College came to a mysterious end nearly a year ago, is taking up similar duties at a college in Washington state and will serve under a familiar administrator.
Whitman College in Walla Walla announced Chandler’s appointment on Wednesday and added that she takes the reins next month.
Chandler’s nine years at Division III Macalester ended in mid-June 2018, with an official statement from the athletic department of nothing more than she “has left.”
Chandler also has never revealed any further details about the abrupt conclusion to her time with the private St. Paul school of roughly 2,100 students.
Since leaving Macalester, Chandler was in the office of the CEO for Minneapolis-based North Star Resource Group, a financial services firm. The CEO, Ed Deutschlander, graduated from Macalester in 1993 and lettered in baseball and football.
Whitman’s president is Kathleen Murray, who moved into the post in July 2015 from Macalester, where she was provost and dean of faculty for seven years. Chandler was athletic director at Macalester throughout Murray’s tenure there.
Alzada J. Tipton, a Whitman provost and dean of the faculty, declined to say what the school learned about Chandler’s departure from Macalester, but said, “We did a thorough vetting of her employment history.”
Tipton added that Murray “did not have a direct influence” on the selection process but “is excited to have Kim joining the Whitman community.”
In a statement released in concert with Division III Whitman announcing its selection to oversee 15 varsity and 16 club teams, Chandler said, “Whitman College is an elite academic institution with a prestigious and proud athletic tradition, and I look forward to building on this strong foundation.”
The private school’s announcement shed no light on the circumstances of Chandler leaving Macalester.
Chandler joined Macalester, a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, in the summer before the 2008-09 school year. In October 2009, she received the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators Administrator of the Year award for Division III.
Before Macalester, Chandler was the athletic director at Beloit College in Wisconsin. Her career in women’s coaching and athletics administration began in 1988 as a graduate assistant for Bowling Green women’s basketball, then to Florida Southern as an assistant coach and then head coach for Division I California State, Northridge.
She graduated in 1988 after playing basketball for four seasons at Ohio Northern, where she was captain and helped lead the team to a 23-4 mark her senior season.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482