By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — The University of Wisconsin System seems to always be struggling to find enough operating cash. So it’s rich that the system’s flagship university has found the funds to hire an esports coordinator.
UW-Madison is looking for a “dynamic and innovative leader” to direct campus video game activities. The position blends electronic sports and gaming community knowledge with experience in higher education and student learning outcomes, according to a job post.
“This position will assist in managing a comprehensive esports program to include: Esports room operations, leagues, tournaments, software & hardware management, Special Olympics Unified Sports and inclusive programs, special events, and virtual events in multiple campus locations for University of Wisconsin-Madison students,” the post states.
The minimum starting salary for the full-time gamer-in-chief is $52,000 a year, according to the university. A bachelor’s degree is required (Yes, there is such a thing as an esports bachelor’s degree), but the university would prefer candidates with a master’s degree or a “combination of education and experience from which skills can be required.” It’s not clear whether such ‘experience” would include a minor in Fortnite or a summer internship playing League of Legends.
UW-Madison’s new esports coordinator would join a campus with more than 24,000 faculty and staff.
The UW System is seeking $262.6 million more from state taxpayers in the 2023-25 biennium, a 4 percent increase in the operating budget in each of the two years.
“This base budget increase request of approximately $115 million over the biennium acknowledges the inflationary cost of goods and services and provides ongoing funding to support key student success initiatives at the UW universities,” the system said in a press release.
The UW System budget request also includes a Pay Plan with a 4 percent increase in January 2024 and an additional 4 percent increase in January 2025 for faculty, academic staff, university staff, and limited appointments.
“The pressure on salaries and wages is like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” UW-Milwaukee Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen told Wisconsin Public Radio in August.
But apparently soaring inflation can’t stop UW-Madison’s quest for a video game tournament coordinator.
Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 29, 2022