The longest-tenured administrator in the Western Illinois Athletics Department, Lisa Melz-Jennings was named Interim Director of Athletics on May 21, 2013. As she begins her 15th year with the Athletics Department, Melz-Jennings will continue to serve as the Director of Athletic Academic Services and Senior Woman Administrator. She was promoted to Assistant AD for Academic Services/SWA in June 2011.
In that time, she has provided the necessary academic support services to every intercollegiate team at WIU, touching the lives of more than 400 student-athletes per year. Over the last several years, Leatherneck student-athletes’ Grade Point Averages have exceeded the University’s GPA, and the Athletics Department continues to boast an overall student-athlete GPA above a 3.0 – including a 3.07 following the Spring 2013 semester.
Her responsibilities in the Athletics Department include directing all aspects of the Athletic Academic Services office, serving as the faculty advisor to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and representing the department at various university events.
In 2009, she added the duties of Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) to her responsibilities. As the SWA, Melz-Jennings is the highest ranking female involved in the management of WIU's Intercollegiate Athletics program and contributes to program-wide administrative responsibilities, including decision making at the university, conference, and national levels. She also collaboratively addresses departmental goals and supports women's interests and Title IX matters as a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Gender Equity Committee.
In October 2009, she was appointed to a three-year term on the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance and is currently the sport administrator for the softball, volleyball and men's and women's swimming and diving programs.
Melz-Jennings, a central Illinois, native, earned her bachelor's degree (Sport Management) in 1993 from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and a Master's degree (Sport Management) in 1995 from Western Illinois University.