AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin, which has been involved in a year long, campus-wide study of its men’s and women’s athletic programs as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics certification program, will hold an open forum on campus March 5 to seek comments and suggestions from the university community.
The forum from 4-5:30 p.m. on March 5 in Main Building Room 212 is open to the public and provides information about the NCAA certification program, which helps ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics operations. Since 1997, the NCAA has required all Division I schools to complete a full athletics certification process every 10 years.
The certification opens up athletics to the rest of the university community and to the public. It benefits institutions by increasing campus-wide awareness and knowledge of the athletics program, confirming its strengths and developing plans to improve areas of concern.
Information derived from the March 5 open forum will become a part of the university’s self-study report that is expected to be completed by May 1. An external team of reviewers (peers from other colleges, universities or conference offices) will conduct a two-day evaluation visit to the campus in October. That team will report to the independent NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification. The committee will then determine the institution’s certification status and announce the decision publicly.
President William Powers Jr. appointed a steering committee responsible for the study in August 2006. The committee includes Powers, Senior Vice President Shirley Bird Perry (steering committee chair) and representatives of the faculty, staff, student body and alumni, as well as athletics department personnel.
Three sub-committees focus on specific areas of the certification process. Patricia Ohlendorf, J.D., vice president for institutional relations and legal affairs, leads the sub-committee on governance and commitment to rules compliance. Dr. Isabella Cunningham, chair of the Department of Advertising, oversees the academic integrity sub-committee. Greg Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, chairs the sub-committee on commitment to equity and student-athlete well-being.
Within each area studied by the committee, the program has standards, or operating principles, which were adopted by the NCAA to place a benchmark by which all Division I members are evaluated.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.