Kim Durand: Duck behind Enemy Lines

UO alumna Kim Durand shares her experience as the Associate Athletic Director of Student Development at the University of Washington

By UO student Lili Wagner

Kim Durand is a Duck behind enemy lines—but is she a loyalist or a traitor?

Durand, who graduated with bachelor of science degrees in rhetoric and communication and psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1991, and a master of science in educational policy and management from the College of Education in 1994, has been working with the University of Washington as the Associate Athletic Director for Student Development for nine years. Not only does she work for UW, she helps their athletes! Where many would see a perfect opportunity for sabotage, Durand finds an opportunity to create well-rounded athletes in her holistic student development program.

Durand came to the University of Oregon from northern California after growing up in a household of Ducks. She recalled, “Both of my parents are Oregon alums so in my mind the University of Oregon was the prototype for what college should be.”

After arriving on campus in 1987, Durand remembered, “We beat USC and Washington back-to-back weekends. I was hooked.”

She began working in the football offices, where she discovered the entity surrounding student-athlete success. As an undergraduate, Durand worked as a student-assistant and recruiting assistant in the athletic department, and as a graduate student she served as an administrative graduate assistant, advising student-athletes.

Her time at UO gave her “a lot of experience in a lot of areas,” which carried her professionally from the University of Kansas to the University of California, Los Angeles and finally to the University of Washington in 2005. By that time, Durand was eager to return to the Pacific Northwest. Moving to Washington, she said, “was a good move professionally and personally.”

At the UW, Durand oversees 14 full-time academic staff and 85 part-time tutors in addition to other support personnel. Despite the administrative nature of her work, Durand tries to interact with student-athletes as much as possible, saying, “It makes me a better leader.”

Kim Durand claimed, “I cheer for the Ducks
every day — except the day they play
Washington.” (Photo: gohuskies.com)

Durand believes the most rewarding moments in her field come when students have breakthroughs. “We look for light bulb moments, those moments when students who aren’t necessarily academically inclined find a class or have an experience that helps them mature.”

Durand also serves as the Director of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) Professional Development Institute and in the past has worked with the N4A Task Force on NCAA Academic Reform and the NCAA Division I Working Group for At-Risk Student-Athlete Issues. With 22 years of experience in the field, and awards including the N4A Lan Hewlitt Award for career service and contributions to the field of academic support services for student-athletes under her belt, Durand is unwaveringly dedicated to serving Division I student-athletes.

“It never feels like work to me,” said Durand. “I can count the number of bad days I’ve had on my two hands.”

Perhaps Durand’s admirable loyalty to her students, which defies allegiance to any specific institution, speaks most poignantly to the success of her education at the University of Oregon.  Durand, as it turns out, is both a true Duck fan and a committed Huskie, but above all else she is a superb education administrator.

“My experience at Oregon was great, and I want my students to have just as great an experience at the University of Washington,” Durand concluded.