Contact: Carl Nathe
Connie Ray, UK’s vice president for institutional research, planning, and effectiveness reported that the self-study overwhelmingly found that UK Athletics is doing a very good job of conforming with NCAA principles, while also noting a few areas in which improvement is desired.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2004) -- The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the university’s report of the NCAA Self-study for Division 1 Certification. The report, which now goes to the NCAA for its review, was written and submitted by a campuswide steering committee chaired by Connie Ray, UK’s vice president for institutional research, planning, and effectiveness.
The steering committee conducted interviews and focus groups, toured facilities, reviewed documents, and conducted a campus and community forum to solicit input for the comprehensive NCAA-mandated study, which can be read online.
The yearlong study examined the areas of governance and rules compliance, academic integrity, and equity and student-athlete welfare, the three main operating principles outlined by the NCAA. The certification process is a requirement of NCAA membership and specifies broad-based participation by individuals and groups across campus who are outside of the university athletics department.
Ray reported that the self-study overwhelmingly found that UK Athletics is doing a very good job of conforming with NCAA principles, while also noting a few areas in which improvement is desired.
UK ’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Services, the academic support unit that serves all university student-athletes, received high praise from student-athletes surveyed as well as from members of the self-study group. One example of the positive impact of CATS is the finding that, for the timeframe addressed in the self-study, graduation rates of Olympic sports’ student-athletes are comparable to and in some cases exceed the graduation rates of UK students in general.
The steering committee recommended a specific plan for improvement be instituted regarding the graduation rates of students in UK’s revenue-producing sports. The improvement plan detailed in the report calls for a 5 percent increase in the six-year graduation rate of revenue-sport student-athletes by 2009 and cites specific goals and steps to follow.
UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. praised the work of Ray and her committee. “In all, nearly 50 individuals, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community, have served on committees and subcommittees related to this self-study effort,” said Todd. “We appreciate their diligence and the excellent leadership demonstrated by Connie Ray throughout this process.”
The university expects to hear back from the NCAA on the self-study report by early spring. A peer review group of representatives from other NCAA-member colleges and universities will have the option of making a site visit to UK’s campus as part of its review.