"When I step down next year, I will have been at the University of Miami for 27 years and in this job as athletic director for 15 years," Dee said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the athletic department, but I have always wanted to teach and be a member of the faculty, and this way I can transition to the faculty and teach at the University for a few years before I retire.
"When I look back, I think of a lot of great things that we have accomplished here," he continued. "We hired some great coaches who have had tremendous success. In football, we brought in Butch Davis, Larry Coker and Randy Shannon, and we won one national championship. Jim Morris has won two national championships in baseball. Frank Haith has done a fine job with the men's basketball program and I am very proud of what Katie Meier has done with the women's program. And other coaches have had tremendous success, too, like Amy Deem with women's track, Paige Yaroshuk-Tews with the women's tennis program, and Randy Ableman with our diving program.
"And finally I have been pleased with the improvement and expansion of some of our facilities, starting with the building of the BankUnited Center. Mark Light Stadium is undergoing expansion now. We have renovated much of the athletic facilities, and we are currently undergoing a major fund-raising effort to further improve our facilities. We have had many challenges, but we've had a lot more ups than downs. I've had a wonderful experience."
During his tenure as Director of Athletics, Dee has focused the efforts of the athletic department on four major points of emphasis: 1) the success of its programs; 2) the development of its student-athletes, both athletically and academically; 3) the quality of its staff; and 4) the improvement of facilities. The department has achieved success in each of these areas.
The University of Miami has won three team national championships (baseball in 1999 and 2001, football in 2001), and three runners-up (baseball 1996, football 2002 and women's tennis 2006). In addition, student-athletes have won numerous individual championships.
Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, UM teams have won four conference championships. Prior to joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, Miami was a dominant program in the Big East Conference, winning 34 league titles between 1993 and 2004. Under Dee's supervision, the University of Miami athletic department has added full scholarship programs in women's soccer, women's volleyball and women's rowing.
University of Miami student-athletes have continued to achieve academically. UM student-athletes have shown consistent improvement in grade-point average and graduation rates over the last decade. In 2007, every University of Miami sports team surpassed the national standard needed in the NCAA's Academic Progress Report program.
# # #
Statement by University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala:
"Paul Dee, after 27 years of leadership in two critical positions, first as general counsel, then as athletic director, has decided to step down at the end of the next academic year.
"I thank him for his extraordinary service to the university. I'm pleased that he will be joining the faculty and look forward to his continued wise counsel. His measured, full and thoughtful advice to the leadership of this university has been unmatched."