Penn State’s Athletics Integrity Officer Julie Del Giorno — currently the chief of staff at Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary — said she knows she will need to have strong relationships with people to be successful at her new job.
That’s why her first priority is getting to know people and the community, she said. To build those relationships, she will need to be present at intercollegiate athletics, but also at performances and happenings where other students gather, she said.
“I hope to build relationships not just with student-athletes, but students across campus,” Del Giorno said. “The best part of my job is interacting with students, if I can be of service to them, or even if I can just be a role model.”
She said she brings her passion for intercollegiate athletics and the role it plays in the overall education to the job.
As athletics integrity officer, Del Giorno will develop and implement the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ policies designed to ensure ethical conduct, she said.
Del Giorno said she will start out working part-time, one day a week, in March and begin working full-time April 1. She said her skills and experience, combined with the “proactive stance” the administration has taken in reacting to a difficult situation, attracted her to Penn State.
“I felt like it was a place where they’re serious about making positive change,” Del Giorno said.
The Athletics Integrity Agreement between the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Big Ten and Penn State required Penn State to create the athletics integrity officer position, Vice President and General Counsel Stephen Dunham said at last week’s Board of Trustees’ Committee on Legal and Compliance meeting. The university entered that agreement in August.
Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers said via email that the athletics integrity officer is a Penn State employee whose salary and benefits come from the university.
Del Giorno said no one else in the country has the job, so she doesn’t really have a model to build against — but the Athletics Integrity Agreement will drive her work, she said.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a news release that Del Giorno is an outstanding choice.
“As she begins her work here at Penn State, she will draw on more than two decades of experience in higher education and the U.S. military,” Erickson said in the release. “Her track record of success in athletics oversight and operations, student affairs, logistics and institutional planning has given her valuable experience that will serve the university well.”
Del Giorno served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1995, which included tours of duty in the Persian Gulf War and Somalia, she said. Del Giorno received the Bronze Star Medal for her service, she said.
She embraces the West Point motto “duty, honor, country,” and believes it’s important to work hard and make a contribution, she said.
Del Giorno was the senior administrator with athletic oversight for Moravian College’s Division III Intercollegiate Athletics program starting in 2006, she said. She said in that role, she ensured compliance with NCAA rules and related standards. She also acted as the college’s Title IX coordinator in her role as chief of staff, she said.
She previously held the roles of interim vice president for student affairs, assistant to the president and academic coordinator for Intercollegiate Athletics at East Stroudsburg University, she said.