Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe will fill the position of vice president for Advancement, Communication and Strategic Initiatives beginning Wednesday, April 1.

Van der Merwe served as deputy athletics director at Central Michigan University from 1997 to 2013, when he took the position of athletics director at APSU. The vice presidency was left vacant by Brian Johnson’s departure for the presidency of Tuskegee University for the 2014-15 academic year.

Van der Merwe’s appointment comes soon after the naming of Rex Gandy as the new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Van der Merwe’s first priority will be to initiate the university strategic planning process, which was deferred until a new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs was named,” said Pres. Alisa White in an email announcing van der Merwe’s assumption of the position.

APSU will conduct a nationwide search for a new athletics director, with Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Women Administrator Cheryl Holt serving as interim athletics director in the meantime.