College’s Athletic Director announces resignation

by Evan Sporer / Beacon Staff • May 17, 2012

After a year marked by controversy and tension in her department, Athletic Director Kristin Parnell announced her resignation, effective May 25. 

In an email sent by President M. Lee Pelton to the Emerson community Thursday, Pelton said Parnell will leave the college to pursue other professional interests.

The email also announced that Stanford Nance, the associate director of athletics, will become the department’s director on an interim basis.

Parnell’s resignation arrives on the heels of countless current and former students of the college expressing their displeasure with her work. An online petition started by former men’s basketball player Kabir Moss in late February called for Parnell to be removed from her position and garnered 243 signatures. A series of comments were left on the petition’s webpage complaining about the current state of the athletic department and Parnell’s job performance.

Parnell could not be reached for immediate comment.

Pelton cited in the email Parnell’s services to the department during the five years she served as director, from managing the Emerson’s fitness center, to most recently seeing the college announced as the newest member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.

In an interview with the Beacon, Pelton said the search for a new athletic director will begin in the late summer or early fall.

Pelton though, who said he learned of Parnell’s resignation earlier this week after the two communicated electronically, said he did not know if the petition or anything surrounding it led to her decision.