IAC Minutes 10-28-15

Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Meeting
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
1:00 – 2:00 pm
109 Friendly

Present: Andy Karduna, Ben Hansen, Chris Sinclair, Jack Boss, Elizabeth Skowron, Merle Weiner, Laura Leete, Lisa Levitt, Chasmodai “Chas” Cassidy, Carter Fritsch, Mario Radic, Shawn Stevenson, Andrew Dunn, Tim Gleason

Absent: Cheyenne Holliday, Kim Sheehan, Anita Weiss, Rob Mullens, Eric Roedl, Lisa Peterson, Jody Sykes, Craig Pintens

Excused: David Schuman

Guests: William Harbaugh, Theodora Ko Thompson, Kurt Willcox

Welcome and introductions: Chair

Chair Andy Karduna called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm. The meeting is being recorded for member David Schuman who was unable to attend.

Introductions

Members introduced themselves and described their experience with or interest in intercollegiate athletics.

A Brief History: Kurt Krueger, Immediate Past Chair

Krueger served on the IAC for six years, but noted that it has existed for at least 30 years. His sense is that the committee was established as a way to exchange information among the faculty, administration, and Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA). In his first years on the IAC, Krueger said the committee received regular updates on graduation rates, tutoring of athletes, the O Heroes program, and similar topics.

Gradually, the IAC members began asking questions, prompted in part by a football recruiting scandal 3-4 years ago. They wanted to know, for example, who was paying the UO’s attorneys. They asked about assessments from the DIA to help pay for academics, the university’s special admit program, and academically questionable classes that many athletes enrolled in.

Krueger said IAC members felt the DIA did little to answer these kinds of questions. Initially, DIA representatives attended and took part in IAC, but eventually things got contentious and confrontational and DIA representatives refused to attend. The UO president at the time concluded that the IAC was dysfunctional. He told the DIA administrators that they did not have to attend IAC meetings and he formed his own Presidential Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics (PAGIA) to brief him on athletics matters. PAGIA members are selected by the UO administration; their meetings are closed; and they produce no public minutes or reports. Last year, the IAC and PAGIA operated separately. Krueger suggested that one goal for the IAC this year might be to find a way to get DIA representatives to resume participating in the IAC.

Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) report/comments: Tim Gleason

Gleason noted that he and Kim Sheehan from the IAC are members of the PAGIA and that that group has not met yet this academic year.

Gleason distributed several handouts that describe the work of the FAR, which is a position that exists on every NCAA campus. He said most of his time is spent in two major areas: 1) Compliance – ensuring that students-athletes are eligible to compete and that the university is following all the NCAA rules. He works regularly with the Registrar’s Office and DIA administrators, including its director, senior women’s administrator, and compliance officer. 2) Contact with athletes – attending sports events and talking with athletes, so he can understand their perspectives, the conditions they face, and the interaction of sports with academics.

Gleason described several legislative issues pending at national- and conference-level governing bodies and remarked on other issues that will likely need to be addressed in the near future. The legislative issues include things like concussion safety protocols, student insurance against injury, paying for the full cost of attendance, and ensuring that scholarships are not removed solely for poor athletic performance. Another set of issues revolves around the time demands on student-athletes, such as whether a travel day should be considered the required day off from practice/competition, whether there should be a mandatory three-week period at the end of a season where required athletic activity will be prohibited, and whether there should be a ban on athletic activity between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am. Additional issues include a closer look at academic standards, a review of policies on graduate transfers and transfers following acts of misconduct, and understanding how scheduling of nighttime events to accommodate television broadcasts impacts academics.

In response to questions, Gleason noted that the UO reports on the academic achievements of its student-athletes in two ways – the Graduate Success Rate (GSR) and the Academic Progress Rate (APR). He also said that the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics selects the university’s student-athlete representatives to sports governing bodies. At the PAC-12 level, the FAR carries the UO’s vote, but the student-athlete representative takes part in discussions. At the NCAA level, the vote is carried by the university president or designee.

Role of IAC Executive Committee: Chair

Chair Karduna explained that the main purpose of the executive committee is to set the agendas for IAC meetings. The Chair and the FAR are required members of the executive committee and Karduna is appointing Laura Leete as the faculty member and Shawn Stevenson as the student member. Karduna hopes to get the committee together next week.

Discussion of the charge of the committee: Chair

Chair Karduna encouraged members to review the committee’s charge on the Senate website. It contains both general and specific responsibilities, including regular consultation with the DIA, and was last updated in the early 2000’s. He suggested that the committee consider proposing revisions to its charge in light of the refusal of the DIA leadership to cooperate with the IAC.

Karduna said his goal is to keep the IAC moving forward and not waste time banging its head against the wall. He’d prefer to see what can be done even if the DIA continues to stay away. He has spoken to Director Rob Mullens and UO President Mike Schill and believes they both are interested in a functional IAC despite the creation of the PAGIA. Karduna is looking forward to working with Gleason and would appreciate any input from IAC members on developing a relationship with the DIA. He’s also been reviewing previous documents relating to athletics and the IAC and has spoken to Margie Paris, Nathan Tublitz, Steve Stolp, and others about the committee.

Open Discussion: member questions, concerns, priorities, agenda items, etc.

Laura Leete asked Kurt Krueger about his meeting with Kim Sheehan (PAGIA), Tim Gleason (FAR), and UO President Schill this summer. Krueger’s sense was that the meeting was brief and not very satisfactory. Gleason was more positive. He feels Schill is looking for excellence in both athletics and academics and wants student-athletes to be excellent students.

As a new member of the IAC, Ben Hansen asked for more basic data about athletics, such as graduation rates, so he and others could get a clearer understanding of the issues they’ll be dealing with. Leete mentioned an exit survey that was done with athletes, but not shared with the IAC. Jack Boss said getting more information is important, because it will help IAC members promote the successes of the DIA. Leete noted that a couple of years ago the IAC heard from several former student athletes on a confidential basis about the lack of preparation they received for post-academic careers. She would like to revisit this issue.

Gleason said graduation rates for student-athletes have been good and that the UO’s systems in this area are working well. He also expressed concern that someone had referred to the Jaqua Center for Student Athletes as the “Jockbox”. Gleason sees this as demeaning to athletics and the athletes. He said that if the IAC approaches the DIA in a positive way, they will welcome our interest and work with us.

Shawn Stevenson asked that information on student-athlete graduation rates be shared with the committee. He noted that there is a student-athlete on the IAC and urged that meetings be scheduled so she can attend and share her perspective with the committee. He also suggested that use of the term “jockbox”, whether appropriate or not, stems from frustration on campus with athletics and the DIA.

Elizabeth Skowron reiterated the need for basic data about athletes and academics, such as graduation rates. She would like to see it broken down for various segments of athletes, such as first generation and minority athletes. Chair Karduna asked committee members to send him their information needs, so he can begin to address them.    

Scheduling of future meetings:

Chair Karduna will send out a Doodle Poll to members to find a good date for the next meeting.

Adjourn:

Meeting adjourned at 2:09 pm.