(CBS) Northern Illinois University announced Tuesday it has kicked off a national search for the position of associate vice president and director of athletics.

A search firm will be utilized to expedite the search process, which the university expects will attract high-caliber candidates from across the country.

“After extensive consultation with President-Designate Baker and conversations with NCAA and BCS leaders, we’ve become convinced that it is time to launch a national search for a leader for our intercollegiate athletics program,” said President John G. Peters in a statement. “Northern Illinois University enjoys a great reputation nationally.”

Former athletics director Jeff Compher left the school in March to take the same position with East Carolina University.

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