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Eastern Washington ponders next move as Bill Chaves introduced at North Dakota

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 16, 2018, 5:46 p.m.

While his current employer was making tentative plans to search for a successor, Bill Chaves was introduced Tuesday as the new athletic director at the University of North Dakota.

“You are now part of the frozen chosen,” UND president Mark Kennedy proclaimed as Chaves was introduced to fans and media in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Appropriate to the venue – the UND hockey arena – Kennedy added more bone-chilling humor.

“Many are called but few are frozen,” he said as Chaves drew applause from a small crowd.

Chaves was selected last week following a months-long process that Eastern must now endure to find his successor.

With university president Mary Cullinan out of town, details are still being finalized. A university spokesman said that Cullinan expects to appoint a search committee that will include faculty, staff, students and others in the community.

The size of the committee hasn’t been determined, spokesman Dave Meany said.

Cullinan is due back Wednesday from Olympia, where the legislature is considering a bill that includes $60 million for a new science building at Eastern.

By week’s end, Cullinan is expected to firm up other details, including naming an interim athletic director.

Meanwhile, in Grand Forks, Chaves was transitioning into his new job, although a timetable hasn’t been set for his move.

“Will know my firm details later this week,” he said Tuesday in a text message. “I need to finish out Eastern in a first-class way.”

Chaves has spent the past week in North Dakota. Along with three other finalists, he interviewed with the UND selection committee before being selected by Kennedy on Saturday.

At Tuesday’s introduction, Chaves said he looked ahead to “an exciting opportunity” at UND, adding that his goal was to “make you UND-proud every single day.”

At UND, Chaves will oversee a $24.6 million budget, almost twice that at Eastern.

Chaves, Kennedy and others were scheduled to attend a UND basketball game Tuesday night at North Dakota State.


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