After serving on an interim basis for the last six months, Dr. Steve Bruning has been named director of athletics and recreation at Capital University, president Denvy Bowman announced Monday, Dec. 3.
"Dr. Bruning continues to demonstrate his leadership, vision, and ability to build relationships across the University and outside of it to strengthen the academic and student experience," President Bowman said. "I am convinced, in light of the increasingly complex landscape of intercollegiate athletics, this uncommon mix of experience, values and drive will advance Capital University, its reputation, and its rich legacy of competitive and academic excellence."
Bruning has served in an interim capacity since May and previously held the same position during the 2007-08 academic year. His leadership has brought increased attendance at athletic competitions, increased engagement of student-athletes and staff in University life outside of athletics and continued momentum toward the spring 2014 launch of two new varsity sports. In addition, Bruning has contributed a clear and proven prioritization of student learning and development and infusion of the University’s mission and learning goals into athletic and non-athletic programs.
A teacher and scholar first, Bruning will maintain a presence in the classroom even in his new role as athletics and recreation director. He will report directly to the president in his permanent role.
“I’d like to thank President Bowman for the opportunity to serve in the position of director of athletics on a permanent basis,” Bruning said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the department of athletics and have a strong passion for sports and their influence on participating students. I look forward to continuing to work with the department and the entire campus community to make the student-athlete experience at Capital the best it can possibly be.”
A professor of communication, Dr. Bruning joined Capital’s faculty in 1991 and in recent years has answered the call to serve the University in a variety of administrative roles, including associate provost. He returned to the classroom full time in 2011 and continues to teach. He also co-chaired Capital’s Self-Study Steering Committee as the University prepared for the Higher Learning Commission’s site visit in anticipation of reaccreditation.
Dr. Bruning is the 2002 winner of Capital’s Praestantia Award for excellence in teaching and this year’s Cotterman Award for excellence in advising. He has published more than 25 articles in academic journals, made more than 40 conference presentations, and is considered one of the most productive scholars in public relations and relationship management.
A 1987 Ohio University graduate, Dr. Bruning was a three-year letter winner and four-year member of the Bobcats’ men’s basketball team. He continued to show his passion for athletics as an avid supporter of the Crusaders, which he has exhibited for the last 21 years as a member of the faculty.