The interim tag has been removed from Rick Dickson’s title, making him the permanent athletic director at the University of Tulsa for a second time.
Despite the move, which was announced in an email from interim president Janet Levit to the TU community Tuesday, Dickson is not planning to stay in the position long term, a source close to the athletic department told the Tulsa World.
However, the title change will empower Dickson regarding the university’s recently approved strategic plan as well as allow him to be involved in any upcoming personnel decisions.
Two of those decisions center on the highest-paid members of the athletic department: men’s basketball coach Frank Haith and football coach Philip Montgomery.
Haith, who is nearing the conclusion of his seventh year, is under contract through the 2021-22 season. Montgomery, who finished his sixth year in 2020, is under contract until January.
The situations with both coaches are expected to be resolved by July, Dickson told the World last week – avoiding them going into the final season of their contracts without clarity, which would have a profound effect on recruiting.
A Tulsa native and a TU graduate, Dickson returned to his alma mater in September on a temporary basis, filling a vacancy created by Derrick Gragg taking a position with the NCAA.
“It’s not long term,” Dickson said then. “I made that very clear. ... Obviously this position will be determined upon the selection of a permanent president who will then do a search for a permanent AD. I expect the time frame will be in the 9-12 months category.”
Dickson was athletic director at TU in 1990-94 after briefly being in the role as an interim. He went on to lead athletic departments at Washington State (1994-2000) and Tulane (2000-15).