The Task Force on Athletics was jointly appointed by President David Frohnmayer and Senate President Nathan Tublitz in December, 2001. Co-chairs were Margie Paris, Law, and Suzanne Clark, English (Chair 2003-2004). The membership represented key figures from both academic and athletic programs: the Vice President for Administration, the Athletic Director, Head Coach of Track, the Faculty Athletics Representative, the Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, the President and Vice President of the University Senate, a representative of the national faculty organization, the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, other faculty members, and three student athletes.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSALS:
- The Task Force and the Athletic Department recommend a voluntary financial contribution by athletics to the Presidential Scholarship fund. This voluntary contribution will help symbolize the mutuality of the relationship between athletics and academics.
- We specify reforms in the review process of the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). These reforms will help make the position more accountable to faculty and staff concerns while not diminishing the President’s role in choosing and evaluating the FAR.
- We specify clarification of the educative standard of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). This clarification will help guide IAC decisions to reflect the University mission and values.
- We specify items requiring the Athletic Department to consult with the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). These reforms will help to keep the IAC informed and involved in significant athletic decisions.
- We recommend that an Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC) member be part of any open search for head coaches, or its chair consulted. This participation in the selection of head coaches will allow the IAC to represent the interests of the University Senate.
- The Faculty Athletics Representative shall report at the beginning of each fall term to the University Senate on specified topics. These reports will keep the University Senate regularly informed on local and national changes in athletics.
- The Athletic Director shall provide a “State of the Athletic Department” report to the University Senate at the beginning of each winter term. These reports will ensure that the University Senate hears regularly about the concerns and plans of the Athletic Director.
- The Chair of the IAC shall provide an annual report to the University Senate during the spring term. These reports will improve communication by providing the Senate with a summary of the committee’s work and conveying its views of athletic planning and decisions.
- We recommend a regular gathering of leadership organized by the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and sponsored by the President’s office. These opportunities for personal contact, conversation, and exchange will improve the mutual understanding of athletics and academics.
- We suggest that the President, the Vice President for University Advancement, and the leadership of the Senate explore the creation of a Committee on Advancement. This will help address the many questions surrounding athletics in regards to philanthropy, relationships with donors, and communication about the university’s values and activities.
- We recommend additional measures to improve advising about majors and to ensure that student athletes are treated like other students. While advising is already very good, we suggest a few improvements.
- We recommend specific efforts to inform the University and community public about the promotion of academic excellence and community service among student athletes. This will help to communicate information about the excellent academic and service records of our athletes.