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 Tuesday, June 8, 2004 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Systemic Change: Integrating Athletics and Academics

I'm sure most of you have heard about the changes that are underway regarding the administration and oversight of the CU Athletics Department. We have a very serious responsibility to make deep, substantive and lasting changes that will integrate the Athletics Department more fully into the life of the campus. Clearly, it's going to take everyone's help to make it happen.

Every area of the University will be affected in some way by the unprecedented changes outlined in the Preliminary Action Plan for the Reorganization and Oversight of Intercollegiate Athletics that President Hoffman and I announced on May 27.

First, major changes in reporting structure are taking place among Athletics Department personnel and the Provost and Vice Chancellors. The Athletics Director and Senior Associate Athletic Director now report to the Provost. A new Academic Policy Board for Athletics, proposed by the Boulder Faculty Assembly and comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives, will advise the Provost on matters related to the department's adherence to campus principles, values and policies. More specifically, the board will advise on admissions standards, recruiting practices, hiring processes of major Athletics Department staff, evaluations and assessments and long-range planning.

The Athletics Department, with the help of the Boulder Faculty Assembly and academic departments, will also identify faculty members to serve as liaisons and mentors with the coaches and athletes of each sport. Their role will be to foster a greater participation in the academic life of the university and to assist in official recruiting visits by prospective student athletes.

In addition to these initiatives, faculty and staff in academic, student affairs and administrative departments campuswide will be asked to provide a more supportive atmosphere for CU-Boulder students, including women, student-athletes and students of color, with academic achievement as their primary goal.

This involves utilizing trained personnel to help increase understanding of current research, policies, practices, and protocols related to sexual harassment and sexual assault, diversity, gender equity, and substance abuse for departmental faculty and staff, including student employees.

While systemic changes are often difficult to implement, I believe the path we are taking is in the best interest of the university. Integrating athletics and academic administration will be an ongoing investment in the future of CU-Boulder.

I assure you that these decisions are not being made lightly. The changes we are instituting are based on careful consideration, input and recommendations from many sources. As Chancellor, I intend to provide the necessary leadership for ensuring the Athletics Department operates with the highest integrity and fiscal responsibility, and supports the campus's academic mission. I am deeply committed to restoring public confidence in the campus and its Athletics Department by making landmark changes in the way we operate.

I will keep you apprised of new developments as they occur. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the CU-Boulder News Center web site at for more detailed information on the action plan, in addition to recent official statements and news releases.

As always, I appreciate the hard work of all of our faculty and staff, and I thank all of you for your continued service and loyalty to the University of Colorado at Boulder - especially during these recent difficult times.

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