LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2004) -- The University of Kentucky Athletic Association Board of Directors heard a preliminary report on the NCAA Self-study for Division 1 Certification at its meeting Friday and gave unanimous endorsement to a change in its bylaws that will add two additional at-large members to the board.
The chair of the steering committee for the self-study, Connie Ray, presented the group’s findings to date in the areas of governance and rules compliance, academic integrity, and equity and student-athlete welfare – the three main operating principles outlined by the NCAA. Ray is UK’s Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness.
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’s Athletics Department.
Ray reported the self-study thus far has clearly determined that UK Athletics is conforming with NCAA principles. The group also noted a few areas where it recommends improvements.
“In all, some 46 individuals, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community, have served on committees and subcommittees related to this self-study effort,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “We appreciate their diligence and the excellent leadership demonstrated by Connie Ray and her team throughout this process.”
UK’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS), the academic support unit that serves all university student-athletes, was praised by student-athletes surveyed and members of the self-study group.
One example of the positive impact of CATS is the finding that graduation rates of Olympic sports’ student-athletes for the years studied are comparable to -- and in many cases exceed -- the graduation rates of UK students in general.
One area where the steering committee is recommending a specific plan for improvement is the graduation rates of students in UK’s revenue-producing sports. An improvement plan is being developed.
Ray said the self-study steering committee is meeting again next week and is nearing completion of its comprehensive report. The report will be presented to the UK Board of Trustees at its Dec. 14 meeting. The report will then be submitted to the NCAA for its consideration. The university expects to hear back from the NCAA by early spring.
More information about UK’s NCAA Self-study, including draft reports by the various committees, is available at www.uky.edu/Home/NCAA.
In other business, the board unanimously endorsed a change in its bylaws that will add two at-large members. Currently, the board, which is chaired by Todd, has 16 members, plus one emeritus member, S.T. Roach. The 16 representatives are composed of four faculty, two students, one alumnus, two members of the Board of Trustees, six ex-officio members, and one at-large member, Luther Deaton. The change, which will bring the total number of board members to 18, is being made to broaden public representation on the athletics board.
At its meeting, the board also heard brief updates from two recently established committees of the board, Student-Athlete Welfare and Long-Range Planning, which is largely focused on the university’s athletic facilities.