Oversight of Keene State College athletics is shifting hands, the college announced last week.
Athletics will now report to KSC President Melinda Treadwell, removing the responsibility from Provost James Beeby and Academic Affairs, who has overseen the program for the past two years.
The shift comes as Treadwell is expanding her role within collegiate athletics in the region. In addition to her role as Chair of the President’s Council of the Little East Conference (LEC), she was recently appointed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Management Council, announced on Feb. 1. She said these positions allow her to be in “direct conversations about the impacts of NCAA policy.”
Treadwell said the shift frees up time for Beeby and the College Senate to focus primarily on the 2023-2026 Strategic Planning initiatives, which outline institutional priorities across four pillars: elevate academics and institutional reputation, focused growth and fiscal sustainability, student pathways to degree and career, and inclusive community and well-being, according to the draft plan. “It just made sense that we free up our Provost and our academic team to focus on the curriculum and the student experience and the academic enterprise,” Treadwell said.
Also, Treadwell’s new role within athletics allows her to be directly involved with the planning and implementation of the investments from the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees. In November, the college announced $16 million investments from the USNH Board of Trustees. $4.2 million of that total will be allocated to athletic enhancement and growth, which includes increasing enrollment and retention of student-athletes and improvement of existing facilities and equipment.
“It will be essential for me to work seamlessly with leaders in Athletics, Admissions, and Finance to ensure momentum and success in this area,” Treadwell said in an email sent to all students, faculty and staff on Feb. 8. The central element to enrollment growth is expanding existing rosters and adding new teams to the college’s division three lineup. In connection with increasing overall enrollment totals, Treadwell said the goal is for student-athletes to account for 20 percent of the student population, an increase from the current 12 to 13 percent. Doing so would bring Keene State in closer alignment with the average in the Little East Conference for schools of similar size, she added.
Following the departure of Phil Racicot as director of athletics on Feb. 20, Treadwell will be working alongside a leadership team consisting of four members of the athletic program’s administration: Abe Osheyack, assistant athletic director for sports information, compliance, and operations; Amy Watson, senior women administrator and field hockey head coach; Ryan Cain, enrollment liaison and men’s basketball head coach; and Deb Wood, head athletic trainer.
Treadwell said she plans to meet with the team weekly to develop a three-year plan for the investments and determine a list of priorities and long-term goals. The results of these talks will be communicated to the campus in the coming months, she said. “It’s a shared thing; I need to move the resources with the institutional capacity, the coaches and the staff in athletics need to make sure they’re aware of what they’re going to be asked to do to make those investments happen. And then we all do this together and make it become real,” Treadwell said.
She will also be involved in the search for a new athletic director, a process she hopes to begin around the mid-March. “I think that’ll give us enough time as a team to decide what the structure should be, and what the team is looking for in an Athletic Director for the future, and what the institution needs,” Treadwell said.
Beyond the administrative responsibilities, Treadwell said she is looking forward to increasing her presence on campus and connecting with not only student-athletes, but the larger campus community.
“It is a profoundly important component for those students of their life experience and what they do,” Treadwell said. “I’d like to know more about what’s going really, really well and what’s challenging, so that we as an institution can make sure those challenges are addressed.”
She continued, “That’s what drives me as a president. I don’t like just being in meetings and thinking about intellectual things, I want to hear from our students.”
Caitlin Howard can be contacted at