Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 23:15:59 -0500 (EST)
From: Bob Eno Subject: Intercollegiate Athletics (2)
To: "Barry Swanson (Wash. State)" firstname.lastname@example.org, "George Watson (Arizona State)" email@example.com, "Philippa Levine (USC)" firstname.lastname@example.org, "Greg McLauchlan (Oregon)" gmclauch@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>, "Sandra Silberstein (Washington)" email@example.com, "Nancy Rosenberger (Oregon State)" firstname.lastname@example.org, "Wanda Howell (Arizona)" email@example.com Original-recipient: rfc822;firstname.lastname@example.org
This message follows up on an email sent two weeks ago concerning intercollegiate athletics. Versions of that email went to sixty faculty governance leaders in the Bowl Championship Series conference schools, and we have heard from back from over two-thirds that they wish to be kept informed. A large majority of those responses included positive comments about the goal of working towards a broadly based venue for faculty discussion of and advocacy for long-term athletics reform. Those of you listed in the header of this message are leaders at Pac-10 schools who responded to that initial message; a full list of Pac-10 faculty governance leaders appears at the end of this message. (No one has responded negatively to the original message, but in each conference there are some schools I have not heard back from.)
The next step in this process is connected to a meeting of Big Ten faculty leaders on November 22, at which the issue of athletics reform will be discussed. The ad hoc committee on athletics that the Big Ten faculty leaders created a year ago has formulated a statement of intent to focus discussion at that meeting, and I have attached it here. It includes a more specific indication of the types of ideas we envision as important for a national faculty effort. That statement includes a proposal, outlined in the earlier message you received, to align with the AAUP and AGB, and with faculty leaders in the other BCS conferences, to plan a national meeting with a focused agenda that can help us work effectively towards reform. We expect leadership representation from the AGB to be present, and are hopeful that a representative of the national AAUP will also join (though this may be less critical, because we're in close touch with the AAUP). If our Big Ten colleagues, the AAUP, and the AGB do agree to move forward together, I'm hopeful that we will be able to contact you soon thereafter with a specific plan for a national meeting, at which all the BCS conference faculty leaderships can be represented. The fact that so many of you responded with interest to the earlier email message will be a strong inducement to Big Ten colleagues to undertake what is surely a long-odds attempt.
I do want to stress two points:
1) This effort is focused on changing the national context in which intercollegiate athletics is undertaken; it targets no school, and participation neither implies criticism of our home institutions, nor requires that we advocate for unilateral changes at our home institutions;
2) The strategy is to develop a consensus vision of stable and educationally viable forms of intercollegiate athletics in about a decade's time, and to design and advocate for adoption of a sequence of staged reforms that individual schools will be able to accommodate over time to reach that goal. This approach is designed to create as much common ground as possible, and allow faculty and others the breathing room necessary to develop viable proposals with strong evidence to support acting on them.
Those of us in Big Ten schools have an advantage in contemplating joint action because our schools fund an academically based consortium that sponsors periodic meetings of faculty governance leaders. Since we know one another in this way, it is relatively easy for us to think about working together. We realize that this may not be the case for other athletics conferences; I hope that the email list below may help make easier for Pac-10 faculty governance colleagues to communicate on these matters. Over the next two weeks, prior to the Big Ten meeting, I will continue trying to reach faculty governance leaders at Pac-10 schools who have not yet responded on this issue, and if you have any communication with leaders at those schools, I'd appreciate your letting me know. In the meantime, I'd like to thank all of you for responding to my initial message - I have found it difficult to believe that not a single colleague has replied by saying that this sort of effort is doomed to failure. It's the first indication I've had that it might not be.
Best, Bob Eno Indiana University
Pac-10 Faculty Governance Leaders
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