NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Rutgers University yesterday named a professor of Spanish to be interim athletic director while the state university launches a national search for a permanent replacement for the ousted Robert Mulcahy.

Carl Kirshner, a professor at Rutgers since 1976, has been the chairman for more than a decade of a committee that reviews admission applications for student-athletes and monitors the academic progress of those who enroll.

"He fully understands the importance of a well-run athletics program that succeeds both on the field and in the classroom," Rutgers president Richard L. McCormick said in a statement.

The university said Kirshner will not be a candidate for the permanent post of athletic director.

- AP