UK’s NCAA Self-study Moves Forward

Contact: Carl Nathe

 

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Probably the most important source of information for the three subcommittees is the student-athletes themselves. Through in-person focus groups and online surveys, committee members are gathering data from student-athletes on everything from academic satisfaction, to training support, to travel for away games and meets.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2004) -- The term, self-study, may not sound very exciting, at first. Yet, when it comes to the University of Kentucky and its intercollegiate athletics program, the ongoing yearlong National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Self-study for Division One Certification is a dynamic process.

Comprised of a steering committee led by Connie Ray, vice president for institutional research, planning, and effectiveness, UK’s NCAA Self-study group is examining three major areas: governance and rules compliance, academic integrity, and equity and student-athlete welfare.

“Each of the three subcommittees is making substantive progress as we continue to move forward in the process,” said Ray. “We've come a long way since we first convened at the end of January.”

Probably the most important source of information for the three subcommittees is the student-athletes themselves. Through in-person focus groups and online surveys, committee members are gathering data from student-athletes on everything from academic satisfaction, to training support, to travel for away games and meets.

“We have met with many student-athletes in direct interviews and we will be doing the same thing with coaches, trainers and others,” said Lionel Williamson, professor and associate dean for diversity in the College of Agriculture, and chair of the equity and student-athlete welfare subcommittee. “We will be incorporating this data into our report. While this whole process takes considerable time and effort from our committee members, it is proving to be enlightening and rewarding.”

The chair of the academic integrity subcommittee is Darrell Jennings, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Medicine.

“This is a healthy undertaking for those of us directly involved in the self-study and for the entire university community. There are multiple facets which make up a Division One athletics program,” said Jennings. “This process provides an important opportunity for us to examine the whole academic program as it relates to the student-athlete at UK.”

Ken Roberts, dean of the College of Pharmacy, is serving as chair of the governance and rules compliance subcommittee. “The University of Kentucky and other member institutions like us make up Division One of the NCAA. By going through this thorough self-examination and review of our athletics program, we are fulfilling an important aspect of that membership.”

In each case, the subcommittees are diligently following operating principles outlined by the NCAA for Division One certification. The self-study process is expected to be finalized in the spring of 2005.

Ray added, “Once we complete our research and file our report with the NCAA, the NCAA staff and certification committee will review it. In cases where they have questions or concerns, a peer review team made up of individuals from other NCAA member institutions will visit our campus to investigate their concerns and determine if the university’s athletics program should be re-certified.”

UK was certified in 1997 following its initial NCAA Self-study.

Ray said the steering committee continues to welcome input from faculty, staff, and students. “The information we have gathered to date indicates there are many good things being accomplished in our intercollegiate athletics program. We know as a university we can always do better. We’d love to hear from members of the campus community,” she said.

Anyone wishing to offer comments to the self-study steering committee, or to get more information about the group’s activities, can visit the Web site.


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