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Northwestern Introduces Dr. Derrick Gragg As New Athletic Director; He Will Focus On Inclusion, Engagement, And Community Involvement

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- The Northwestern Wildcats introduced their new leader in Evanston on Monday after some controversial months for the university.

Dr. Derrick Gragg replaces Mike Polisky as athletic director. Polisky resigned after 10 days, following campus protests since he is named as a defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Gragg's hiring seems like the right fit - having previously led the University of Tulsa's program - and he most recently worked with the NCAA on inclusion, engagement, and community involvement.

He will attempt to grow the same efforts in Evanston.

"I'm looking forward to that, because I think particularly now during the social justice movement – which is the biggest social justice movement that's occurred during my lifetime – you really have to lean in with people – and particularly our young people. I say this all the time – young people, they initiate and spark and keep social justice movements going, and so I'm looking forward to engaging with them and having critical conversations that matter; creating action plans," Gragg said. "The one thing that we cannot do is ignore them, and whether that's faculty, whether that's students, whether that's constituents, I look forward to touching base with all of them."

Gragg has big shoes to fill after longtime athletic director Jim Phillips left to run the ACC. Northwestern hopes they got it right the second time around.

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