Behind The Desk: Dr. Roderick Perry

Behind The Desk: Dr. Roderick Perry

Behind The Desk is a weekly feature this summer profiling each of The Summit League's lead athletic administrators. These leaders provide a glimpse into their background and personal life along with their take on various aspects of college athletics.

In this week's installment, IUPUI Director of Athletics Dr. Roderick Perry is profiled.

NAME:  Roderick D. Perry, Ph.D.


Where I'm From:  Auburn, Ala.

Where I Went to School:  Auburn University (Bachelor's and Master's); The University of Dayton (Ph.D.)

My First Job:  Scorekeeper for the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department

What I Like …


An Influential Person in My Career:  Jeremy Foley, AD at The University of Florida; He demanded excellence and it made me a better person. 

A Timeless Idea:  Treat people the way you would like to be treated.  I learned this as a kid (and my mom routinely reminds me of this).

A Sports Facility:  Dodger Stadium.  Hard to believe it is the third oldest and largest stadium by seat capacity in MLB.  They have done an excellent job of keeping it well maintained.

A Sports Event:  NCAA Football Playoffs/Championship.  I think it has really enhanced the regular season.

A Brand:  Nike, it's a universal brand that is constantly improving.

A Trend:  Fitness trackers.

An Innovation:  Apps for cell phones.  It has made my life easier, whether it's banking, getting sports updates/scores, or GPS usage.  It is all much easier now.

An Idea or Invention I Wish I Had Thought Of:  iPhone.  It has changed the way people communicate.

What I Like about …

My Job:  Interaction with student-athletes and coaches on a daily basis.

Sports:  Provides the ability for people to improve their personal confidence and self-esteem through valuable and positive relationship building.  Sports also strengthen social networks and community identity.

The Direction of Sports Business:  More and more emphasis will be placed on student-athlete time demands and student-athlete experience.

Sports Fans:  The passion and undying dedication they exhibit to their teams.

What I would like to …

See More of in Sports:  Ethical behavior and sportsmanship.

See More of in Sports Business:  More women and minorities in leadership positions.

See Different:  More focus on the positive things coaches and student-athletes do in society.


What I like …

People:  Lifelong friendships.

That Would Surprise Those Who Know Me:  That I like to ski.


Heroes:  My parents.  They are both hardworking individuals who instilled in me the same work ethic.

Teams:  IUPUI Jaguars and my two alma maters, Auburn Tigers and Dayton Flyers.

Cities:  Chicago and New York.

Mementos:  Championship rings from past teams I have worked with over the years; Autographed football that is signed by the three Heisman Trophy winners from Auburn University.

Books:  All types of leadership.

Movies:  Color Purple.  I'm going to the Broadway musical soon.

Trip:  Italy.  I visited a few years ago, and I would like to visit again.

Websites:,,,,,, and

Gadget: iPad.  I cannot live without it.  It goes with me everywhere.

Apps:  TuneIn Radio -  I can listen to college sports from around the country, professional tennis grand slam events (listening to tennis and trying to follow the action is quite difficult and interesting), and various talk shows…for FREE!; Sworkit - It's a fitness app that allows for a good workout at any time.

Quote:  "In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams."

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