HSU boosters, alumni continue to protest possible AD hire

Humboldt Sports continues to receive letters opposing the potential full-time hire of HSU interim AD Duncan Robins.

The school is currently undergoing a search to fill the position on a full-time basis, and local boosters and fans are concerned Robins will get the job, citing his lack of experience among other concerns.

Over the past week, Humboldt Sports has received multiple letters opposing the potential hire, as well as the process, and we will continue to publish them as we receive them.

Anyone interested in voicing their opinions on the matter, one way or the other, should email their letters to, and make sure to include a phone number where they can be reached. Letters should be no more than 150 words.


Dear Editor:

I write in two capacities. First as an alumnus and as a proud member of the HSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Second, I write from the perspective of an athletics professional. I have extensive experience, particularly with institutions at the NCAA Division II level, having worked with over 120 of them, often for 3-5 years. In the Western Region, I have worked with 29 institutions, including seven in the CCAA and four in the GNAC. I spent 17 years in NCAA governance. I have served on 20 national committees and as NCAA Vice President, with responsibility for Division II.

I believe the search, currently underway for a new Director of Athletics at Humboldt State University, is ill-conceived and poorly timed. Colleagues from around the country, some of whom would have been viable candidates for the position, question why a university would undertake this search when a ‘lame duck president’ will name a director on behalf of a new president who has yet to be selected. Consider the following:

  • Why would a quality candidate consider this position given the uncertainty of who he/she would work for?
  • Why would a quality candidate consider working for an institution that supports athletics with student fees and has repeatedly failed to meet its enrollment goals and, as a result, its revenue targets?
  • Why would a quality candidate consider working for an institution that set-up its football program to fail and used its community supporters as scapegoats to justify its failures?

To be clear, HSU athletics, like the university generally, is struggling. Under its current leadership the program has ranked 10th in its conference athletically, with only two winning teams in the last two years. It ranks 11th in the conference in Academic Success Rate, a national measure of student-athlete retention and graduation. It lags 11% behind the national average, for all NCAA Division II institutions, in academic success. Like the university as a whole, athletics has no articulated vision, no plan for its future.

At this point, there is a general sentiment among those who follow things like this closely, that either the President is oblivious to her poor choice to begin this search under these circumstances or, as some believe, the search is a sham with a predetermined outcome to hire her unqualified surrogate, interim AD Duncan Robins. In either case, the outcome is not acceptable.

Humboldt State is at a low point in its history. The right thing to do is to identify a forward- thinking president, capable of articulating a vision for the university and its athletics program THEN look for the kind of athletic professional who can implement the vision and bring athletics back from the abysmal place it currently finds itself.

Chuck Lindemenn

Class of 1970

Dear Editor-

Let me be clear.  The intent of this letter to the editor is to ensure that Duncan Robins is not appointed as the Director of Athletics at Humboldt State University. Duncan is not qualified to lead an athletic department. With virtually no experience in athletic administration, Duncan was appointed as the interim athletic director at HSU for one purpose only — Eliminate HSU Lumberjack Football!

He did that, despite public outrage and an incredible effort from our community to preserve the program, he prevailed. Now, just before she retires, President Lisa Rossbacher is trying to reward Duncan by appointing him as the permanent athletic director at Our University. President Rossbacher is a lame duck, with only a few months left in office, the professional, ethical and right thing to do would be to allow the next HSU President to select the Athletic Director. This bit of cronyism is a typical example of the short sighted, self serving, out of touch leadership we have experienced from this current administration, and we whole heartedly welcome a change in leadership at HSU.  Please, join me in opposing this appointment by contacting President Rossbacher and sharing your displeasure with this institutional nepotism! Her contact information is: or telephone at 707-826-3311.

Carl Del Grande,

HSU Class of 1966

Dear Mr. Hamill

I was serving on the Eureka City Council & a member of a welcoming committee for the current HSU President Lisa Rossbacher. The community was excited about what she said she was going to bring to HSU.

If you attended the public forum or listened to the forum on KHSU, you know that most of the speakers did not feel she fulfilled those expectations.

I have been involved with HSU sports since 1972. I have watched former effective Athletic Directors

excel in getting the job done. They had a good rapport with the student body, the community, and especially the student athletes.

Duncan Robins does not have the background or qualifications as set forth in the application to be the HSU Athletic Director. Obviously, he saw no worth in the HSU football program as he worked diligently to eliminate it. This is not the type of leadership we need to build a strong athletic department at HSU.

Our current President, who is leaving soon, should not be making the decision to decide who the next Athletic Director at HSU will be.

Chet Albin

Class of 1974

Business Administration


Categories: Community, Humboldt State

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3 replies »

  1. And we finally have it, the only letter that makes any sense whatsoever… don’t hire an athletic director until you have the new president put in place… they got to work together!

    All the other fluff about eliminating this eliminating that… show the facts, show the votes by the college processes, show the direct statements or written Letters by the filler athletic director…

    …letters that are from people who in their past have screwed Sports programs and sports teams over are not the best spokespersons… you can’t in one hand claim this for a college program but in the other hand wax out the local high school program…

    … a little thing called karma and history and hypocrisy and people who do bad things that don’t know that it’s going to come back against them at a later date in at least an intellectual forum…

    … sometimes people say it’s calling people out on their role reversals…

    …it started at the top with the feminist feline… and people on the welcoming committee thoroughly approved and received with open arms this president that they now come back to claim didn’t do anything… well hell, Henchy could have told you that from day one that this person wasn’t going to do anything for the community because the college is a state thing, not local and Henchy does double down dare anyone to challenge that with respect to the president of a college campus… college first communities last!

  2. The letters were fun to read though, lots of chest Pumpers…former gubbamint types… brooding their chronological job application highlights… not necessary when you make the common sense about needing a permanent president before hiring a permanent athletic director… all the other bragging was inconsequential…

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