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The last two sessions I attended at the NIRSA show in Minneapolis were "The Path to Becoming a Recreational Sports Director" followed by a senior management panel of university administrators.

In an independent study conducted in 2006 similar to one NIRSA conducted in 2005, the average salary of recreational sports directors is between $60,000 to $80,000 at institutions with an enrollment between 15,000 and 25,000 students. The independent study also showed that 70 percent of recreational sports directors are male. Most of those surveyed said that a master's degree is mandatory for their job.

The senior management panel reminded me a little of the financial panel at the IHRSA show and a little of what many keynote speakers talked about at the IHRSA show.

The panel members revealed their paths to their current positions, and all of them took different routes that included some risk taking, a common theme at IHRSA. One administrator was at one time out of work after his accounting firm closed. He eventually worked to get his doctorate, and in July, he'll become the new president of Alcorn State University in his home state of Mississippi.

The Virginia Tech tragedy was mentioned in almost all the sessions I attended. The senior management panel ended with a mention of how university rec centers can play a role in the development and improvement of student mental health.

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