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Lessons From The Big Chair With Eastern Washington’s Lynn Hickey & New Hampshire’s Allison Rich

Guest Lynn Hickey, Eastern Washington; Allison Rich, New Hampshire
22:39 min watch


Two veteran administrators – longtime Eastern Washington Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey and new New Hampshire Director of Athletics Allison Rich – join ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2022 Women Leaders Convention to share the similarities in their Big Chair experiences and offer advice for aspiring ADs. Hickey, who has served as AD at two institutions, and Rich, who is in her first AD position, reflect on identifying “fit” during the interview process, establishing productive working relationships with university leadership and preexisting staff and finding balance in the early days of a new role. While Rich discusses the challenges of prioritization as a new AD, Hickey advises new leaders to take more time conducting a “listening tour” before taking action.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Allison, how did you know you were ready for the Big Chair?
  • - Lynn, how did you know you were ready before you took the AD role at UTSA?
  • - How did you define "fit" for yourself when evaluating opportunities that came your way?
  • - What about for you Allison? 
  • - How do you establish alignment with your university president or chancellor and how do you ensure your goals for the department line up with their broader university mission?
  • - Lynn, what are your strategies for establishing alignment with a president?
  • - What are some of the first steps you take to get buy-in from the existing staff, head coaches and student-athletes?
  • - What are your strategies Lynn? 
  • - Lynn, is there an aspect of being an AD that you're still trying to get comfortable with?
  • - Allison, how are you creating balance early in your AD tenure?
  • - How do you simultaneously navigate the life-based tasks of making a move, like getting a new license or buying a home?
  • - What advice would you give First Day AD Lynn or Allison?