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NCAA self-study now underway

- December 11, 2006

The University has initiated a comprehensive self-study of its intercollegiate athletics program.

The study represents the first step toward recertification of UConn's program by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body for intercollegiate athletics in the United States.

The self-study, directed by a broadly representative steering committee, began in October.

Following completion of the self-study, anticipated in April, and a visit by a team of peer evaluators that is anticipated in October 2007, the NCAA's Division I Committee on Athletics Certification will determine UConn's certification status.

Certification is required for participation in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I level.

The NCAA began certifying Division I programs in 1993, and UConn received full certification in 1998.

Similar in some ways to institutional accreditation conveyed by regional governing bodies (in UConn's case, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, or NEASC), the NCAA certification process evaluates institutional compliance with operating principles in three key areas: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; and equity and student-athlete well-being.

Seventy specific "self-study items" must be reviewed as part of the institution's review of its intercollegiate athletics program.

As required by the NCAA, the self-study is being conducted mainly by individuals outside the Division of Athletics.

The Self-Study Steering Committee is chaired by Ronald Schurin, executive assistant to the president.

The other 23 members include faculty, students, staff, a member of the Board of Trustees, and an alumnus, as well as athletics director Jeffrey Hathaway and several other people closely involved with the Division of Athletics, including student-athletes and coaches.

The subcommittees examining the three major subject areas are chaired by Steven Jarvi, assistant vice provost (Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance); Carol Polifroni, interim dean of nursing (Academic Integrity); and Dana McGee, director of diversity and equity (Equity and Student-Athlete Well-Being).

In addition to the Steering Committee, approximately 60 members of the University community serve on one of the subcommittees.

As the self-study proceeds, the steering committee plans to solicit community input.

An open hearing will be held in February, following publication of a self-study draft.

Information about the self-study and the recertification process, ultimately including the self-study draft, will be made available on a web site linked to the President's Office home page.

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