There are no family pictures on the desk of Kevin Clark.
The photographs of his wife and four children – three college students and a 9-year-old son – are stored in his old house in Bloomington, Ind. He plans to bring them to work once his wife and young child move in with him in May.
However, his on-campus apartment, in the second floor of the 1810 Liacouras Walk complex, is too small for 9-year-old Logan to play ball.
He has to find a bigger place and an elementary school for Logan. He also needs to sell his Bloomington house and learn how to cope with the higher cost of living in Philadelphia.
On top of that, he is grasping what being a Temple Owl entails.
“I’m still trying to learn my way around the culture of Temple,” Clark said. “There is so much stuff to learn and read about.”
Moving from a small college town to a metropolitan city was easy for the Kansas City, Mo., native.
“I just have to learn how to deal with the traffic,” he said.
As senior adviser to President Neil Theobald, he must familiarize himself with every aspect of the university, from the Board of Trustees to the infamous reputation of the neighborhoods surrounding Main Campus.
“A typical day here is whatever the president needs,” he said. “He knows the business of higher education better than anyone else I’ve met.”
A few months ago, Clark’s hectic transition from senior associate athletic director at Indiana University to senior adviser of Temple’s chief began with a simple question in his office.
“I thought the [position] would be related to the athletic department, but when he told me about becoming his adviser I said ‘absolutely,’” Clark said. “I was surprised, but excited. In fact, I’m still excited.”
For Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass, the offer was inevitable.
“Kevin is a rare combination of being very smart and technically expert, but also extremely practical,” Glass said. “As much as I hated to lose him, I think people at Temple will appreciate the opportunity to work with him.”
Theobald and Clark have been colleagues for 11 years. As Indiana’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, Theobald saw the potential of Clark’s diverse background.
“There is nothing I’ve been asked to do so far that I haven’t seen before,” Clark said.
Theobald said in an interview with The Temple News earlier this month that Clark was successful in his role at Indiana.
“He’s wonderful, he did a great job,” Theobald said. “When he went over to athletics, they were losing millions. When he left they were making a profit, so he’s very good at his job.”
His résumé boasts 23 years in the military – where he was an officer in operations such as Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom – an accounting degree, an MBA and myriad administrative positions at St. Louis University and Indiana.
“I’m a very detailed person, being in the military you learn a lot about accountability and responsibility,” he said. “I’m a leader but I hold myself accountable probably harder than anyone else.”
“They gained a professional admiration for each other, they were not buddies but they interacted enough to respect each other and each other’s work,” Glass said.
Clarks arrives every morning at 8 a.m. ready to befriend his new colleagues. Amid morning meetings and lunches Clark makes sure he can offer support to those working in any project assigned by the president.
“At the end of the day you do what you do for students, you have to make sure they have a good experience while they are here,” Clark said. “Your students are your future donors, they are the alumni that are going to come back.”
Taking pride in his self-professed “workaholism,” Clark said he never knows when he is going to leave the office. A flat-screen television is his only distraction at home.
He would rather stay in the office and battle his co-workers who miserably attempt to dissuade him from being a Dallas Cowboys fan in an Eagles-dominated office, he said.
He said he will balance his personal life and work by the time his family arrives. By then, he hopes to have found a spacious home and a good school district for his son.
As for his future at Temple, “the opportunity is impressive, the timing is right and the opportunities are unlimited,” he said.
Laura Ordonez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.