University of Iowa

FACULTY COUNCIL

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

3:30 p.m.

Northwestern Room, Iowa Memorial Union (#345)           

Members Present: Joyce Berg, Rebecca Hegeman, Richard LeBlond, David Manderscheid, Kim Marra, Ann Marie McCarthy, Paul Muhly, Gene Parkin, Craig Porter, Margaret Raymond, Hazel Seaba, Lisa Troyer, John Westefeld 

Members Absent: Patrick Lloyd, John Moyer 

Members Excused: Lois Geist, Vicki Grassian, Chuck Lynch 

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Amitava Bhattacharjee, President; Jeff Cox, Vice President; Erin Irish, Secretary; Carolyn Colvin, Past President 

Guests:  Bonnie Slatton (Faculty Representative to NCAA), Charles Drum (University Relations), Bob Engel (Emeritus Faculty Council), Betsy Altmaier (Faculty Representative), Nicholas Colangelo (Belin-Blank Int’l Center), Michael O’Hara (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Heather Woodward (Press-Citizen), Joe Coulter (Office of the Provost), Mark Schantz (General Counsel), Jon Whitmore (Provost), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost) 

I.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3:38. 

II.  Approvals

A.  Meeting Agenda

Prof. Colvin moved and Prof. Westefeld seconded the following: 

Motion:  To approve the meeting agenda. The motion carried

B.  The November 13, 2001 Faculty Council minutes were approved by consensus. 

III.  Reports 

A.  Report of the Board in Control of Athletics (N. Colangelo) 

President Bhattacharjee learned when he took office that issues of intercollegiate athletics have been an ongoing concern for faculty.  At that time, he judged the issue as too vast for the University of Iowa to undertake; however, the issue arose at the November CIC meeting on faculty leadership.  At that meeting it was clear that the members approved of the Knight Commission’s report on intercollegiate athletics, but felt that the report did not provide enough depth in addressing the issues.  The CIC faculty leaders drafted a resolution on Intercollegiate Athletics.  The CIC faculty are currently taking up the resolution at their home institutions.  President Bhattacharjee added that if we adopt this resolution, it would not be an admission that we had been previously operating inappropriately.  The resolution passed unanimously save one abstention at the CIC meeting.  Since then, the faculty at Indiana University and the University of Minnesota has passed it.  There are some items on the resolution (below the line on the resolution draft) not passed at the CIC November meeting.  The resolution will go back to the CIC after individual universities have acted on it. 

Prof. Colangelo began his report by distributing handouts that listed the athletics board membership and a flow chart of the UI athletics organization.  The board is comprised of eleven members, consisting of all Senate-appointed faculty, two staff members, two students, two alumni, and some ex officio members, including Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost), who provides ties to academics.  Mark Schantz is the liaison to central administration, and the Director of Athletics is an ex officio member.  The board also includes two other faculty members, plus Mary Jane Beach who is concerned with budget issues and Jennifer Modestou who addressed issues of equity.  

Prof. Colangelo explained that we are a big time, division I athletics program.  Being on television, filling the arena stands, etc. means that our athletics program is “under the microscope” and any problems will gain media attention.  The benefit of the standing of our athletics programs is that we make the national news.  The goal of the Board in Control of Athletics (BCA) is to make sure athletics program fits with the principles of the university.  The BCA wants to ensure that the horror stories we have all heard from other university athletic programs will not occur here by creating proactive safeguards and procedures.  As a faculty member, Prof. Colangelo is impressed by how we enhance the positive aspects of our program while avoiding negatives.  The procedures ensure that we enroll students who are athletes and not the reverse.  The BCA monitors students’ grades and overall courses of study.  There is a committee (comprised entirely of faculty) that concentrates on academic issues such as the amount of time spent on the road and avoiding travel during demanding academic times such as finals.  This is not an easy job, when there are attractive opportunities and tournaments for student athletes.  

The Athletics Programs at the University of Iowa are undergoing many changes with the merging of men and women’s athletics.  Prof. Colangelo complemented Christine Grant for her success as the Director of Women’s Athletics, and added that one of the current concerns is that women’s athletics does not become invisible with the merge.  The BCA is proud that the university did not have to forego a men’s sport in order to attain equity.  The budget and hiring issues remain important, so a member of the BCA serves on each search committee to ensure that new coach shares the values of the university, with less emphasis on the win/loss record.  Affirmative action plays an important role in bringing in the kind of people the faculty would want.  Prof. Colangelo thinks the Knight Commission report is right on the mark, and he wants to move on some of the issues brought forth in the Knight report, but not in a way the university could be hurt.  Prof. Colangelo admitted to being embarrassed that we have coaches who are paid more than the university president, yet he understands why this is. 

President Bhattacharjee asked about admissions policies and standards and how talent is balanced against scholarly potential.  Prof. Colangelo replied that he would like to see that any student who is admitted without typical academic credentials sit out a year, to let him/her prepare for scholastic success before competing.  Student athletes should be graduating at the same rate as the rest of the student body, and the BCA monitors this process. 

Prof. Cox pointed out the high moral ground the University of Iowa takes about drinking.  However, when we watch athletic events on television, there are ads for beer, while the ICPD arrests students for drinking at three times the rate of Story County.  He was concerned with the inconsistency of taking money that encourages people to drink, and then punishing them for drinking.  He was told that the University of Iowa does not sell ads for alcohol.  The Big 10 controls advertising for national broadcast games.  Prof. Westefeld asked whether the conference supersedes the university and was told that it does.  General Counsel Schantz confirmed this, but added that if there was enough leverage, perhaps this could be changed.  Prof. Colvin inquired about commercialism such as apparel endorsement and the amount of control the university maintains or if endorsements are negotiated with coaches at the time of hiring. General Counsel Schantz answered that it is some of both.  He pointed out that when there are apparel contracts, they benefit both the coach and the program in reduced cost of apparel.  Also, there are already limits on ads in the arena.  

B.      Report of the Faculty Representative to the Big-10 Conference and NCAA (B. Slatton and E. Altmaier) 

Prof. Slatton began by reporting that every university has to have a faculty in a tenured position who serves to represent the university at NCAA.  This requirement is fairly recent; until the 1990’s a coach could be the representative.  Now, there has to be an independent faculty representative.  In the early 1980’s, women came into NCAA, and as a result, there were two faculty representatives.  Some universities still have two faculty representatives, but most have just one now, who serves as liaison between ncaa and the universities.  The first and second Knight Commission reports were very discouraging, and the faculty representatives were most unhappy.  At the University of Iowa we have a history of strong oversight boards.  Many faculty are not that interested in athletics.  Most commonly, faculty complain that our student athletes who represent us do not have strong scholastics.  A concern is whether we have programs that athletes gravitate toward.  If so, that is a problem of academics, not athletics.  Some universities shunt athletes toward such programs.  That does not happen here, but that is because our faculty pay attention.  

President Bhattacharjee answered Prof. Colvin’s question about commercialization, stating that tournaments and conference games garner the most profits for the conference, sometimes at the expense of students’ abilities to prepare for exams.  Prof. Slatton added that in the past, Big 10 conference championships conflicted with the academic calendar.  Faculty were able to enforce a change, which was a major victory. Women’s athletics has done a better job of scheduling around the school year.  At the top of the agenda are academic issues, which means turning down some network contracts.  Games used to be played only on weekends. If presidents stand firm, they can shift from an emphasis on commercialization.  Prof. Muhly asked whether the academic board sets the play schedule.  Prof. Colangelo answered that they do and had made an exception for the upcoming basketball game that was on a school night a week before finals.  We should not expect to see this kind of scheduling again.  Prof. Slatton added that finals week is protected, except maybe in the case of in-state travel.  Nonetheless, we retain some control.  Prof. Colangelo agreed that there are more games than there used to be, and this is a tough issue, which is difficult to deal with unilaterally. He was hopeful that this kind of discussion would take place all over the country, which may result in a collective change.  

Prof. Seaba asked how a student athlete is admitted to university and whether our admission process differs from the rest.  Prof. Colangelo assured her that athletes are still admitted by the admissions office, not by the coach. The same procedures are used as in the admission of any other student.  Prof. Slatton added that the Provost’s Office is considering establishing a committee to consider student athletes and others who do not meet minimum academic requirements.  We should be assured that these standards are not different for athletes.  Prof. Altmaier added that there are ways for substandard admission, but the doorways are limited and closely monitored. President Bhattacharjee pointed out that competition for athletes is intense, and wondered whether there might be “back door” entrance means.  Prof. Slatton answered that coaches cannot admit without the approval from the Admissions Office: a coach cannot make the offer first.  There may be times when an admissions decision is close, but coaches are not in the loop.  Prof. Colangelo added that no faculty member should be contacted by a coach about a student.  If this has happened, it’s wrong.  

Prof. Hegeman asked when admitted through substandard admission, whether it is known that person is an athlete.  Prof. Altmaier answered in the affirmative.  Prof. Colvin added that Prof. Altmaier had made a good point, that we admit students in a number of fields who are not quite ready for college success.  Prof. Slatton was glad to see CIC concern about under-prepared students.  She was curious to know how our university sets the line that would allow them to participate in extracurricular activities.  Prof. Raymond inquired about how progress is monitored, such as by rate of graduation, or grades each year.  Prof. Slatton replied that it is graduation rate, which unfortunately can hide a lot.  She would prefer semester-by-semester checks with clear markers.  The Big 10 demands a minimum GPA of 1.65.  Student athletes of the Big 10 responded that they would rather have no standard than one of 1.65 that is embarrassingly low.  The Big 10 has higher standards than does the NCAA.  Furthermore, individual institutions can set higher standards independent of their conference.  A lot of discussion on this topic is going on, and there are enough presidents in major conferences who will act independently of NCAA.  President Bhattacharjee asked General Counsel Schantz to speak on this too. But first, he asked whether Profs. Slatton, Altmaier, Colangelo and General Counsel Schantz have concerns about the CIC resolution.  He added that President Coleman feels strongly that there should be sunshine rules, and wants to see a strong resolution passed. 

General Counsel Schantz said that generally, he and President Coleman applaud the resolution and increased faculty oversight of athletics.  He expects to find athletics problems at universities with weak faculty governance.   He was in favor of the resolution, except for the last sentence of the third principle, which states, “athletics should not be subsidized by the academic side of the institution…” which had not been articulated by the Knight Commission report.  He addressed this by explaining that this sentence contradicts the concerns about excessive commercialization and stopping the arms race.  These started when a lot of revenue was generated and the problems in sports are related to that issue.  If an athletics program is self-supported, it will be less accountable.  If the university provides it with funds, the university can control expenditures.  If self-supporting, a program cannot make it on ticket sales alone (and even that is commercialization).  If we were to take away the modest amount of General Fund’s contributions to the athletics program, we would increase pressure to go elsewhere.  Furthermore, being self-supporting is not necessarily noble: for example, orchestra is not self-supporting.  Of the $35 million athletics budget last year, $1.9 million came from General Funds.  Men’s athletics had been self-supporting, but only in football and basketball.  If we cut General Funds support of athletics, we will hurt the “Olympic sports”, not the revenue sports.  This comes back to question about graduation rates: the problems are almost exclusively in football and men’s basketball and a little in women’s basketball, yet these programs are not dependent on the General Funds.  With the exception of students in those programs, our athletes are impressive.  For example, some of our rowers go on to medical school, while Arizona football has a 0% graduation rate. General Counsel Schantz’s final point was that the BCA does a great job; but would like Liberal Arts faculty to become more involved, as most athletes are enrolled in this college.  

President Bhattacharjee echoed the problem that many faculty abrogate responsibility for students outside the classroom.  Prof. Porter, admitting to be ignorant of athletics, wanted to know where commercial support fits into the $35 million budget. General Counsel Schantz replied that it is included.  Growth in additional revenue comes from networks willing to pay increasing rates for bowl games.  Prof. Porter then asked about coach endorsements, to which General Counsel Schantz replied that this is recent, and it worries him.  Part of coaches’ salaries comes from radio, television, and summer camps.  Prof. Cox asked how much of the $35 million comes from television. General Counsel Schantz answered that it is probably around $10 million, mostly from football and basketball. 

Prof. Troyer voiced her love/hate relationship with athletics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  She thought that if all majors could have standards, we wouldn’t see gravitation to certain programs.  She was also concerned about advising, as some athletes could have as many as four advisors, who may give conflicting advice.  She would like to see full integration as recommended by the CIC resolution.  She is not sympathetic to students claiming allegiance to their team ahead of coming to class.  Prof. Slatton was glad to hear advising brought up.  She pointed out that athletics advisors cannot sign drop/add slips.  Prof. Troyer added that the progress evaluation forms for varsity athletes are absurd and seemed like bureaucratic paper pushing rather than actually addressing academic issues.  Prof. Slatton stated the need for more participation from liberal arts faculty on the BCA.  

President Bhattacharjee addressed General Counsel Schantz’s point about not subsidizing athletics. In the past five years it went up from $500,000 to a couple million dollars.  This is worrisome during times of budget crises, especially if internal grants are being cut.  President Coleman made this budgetary decision in response to Title IX; nevertheless we are losing 80 faculty lines, many in Liberal Arts, where most athletes are taught.  Prof. Colangelo commented that most Division I athletics programs, unlike ours, operate in the red.  It is in our self-interest to keep the financial strings for control over athletics operations.  He urged the Council to push for wording requiring strong faculty input on athletics budget expenditures.  

President Bhattacharjee asked why the budget is going up.  General Counsel Schantz replied that in order to comply with Title IX without pure proportionality, a university must demonstrate that it is moving toward equity.  We went as far as we could with scholarship support, and then added two more sports, soccer and rowing, which was a substantial expenditure. Growth since then covered increasing scholarships and salaries.  Prof. Slatton confirmed that the General Fund increases support gender equity. 

She also felt that it is contradictory to say we will not support athletics with the General Fund and then tell athletics not to be so commercial.  Prof. Altmaier added that there are a lot of opportunities for women with these two sports. General Counsel Schantz, wanting to be fair, brought up that the budgets are merged now.  President Bhattacharjee reminded the Council that last year, when merging came up, Faculty Senate was against it.  He had hoped that some of the men’s scholarship funds could help support women’s scholarships.  Prof. Slatton added that having one budget was supposed to be a great reason for merging; however, there is separate fund raising for men that the women do not have. General Counsel Schantz reported that there had been a nontrivial redistribution last year as a result of that.   

Prof. Colvin thought that as a university community we benefit from partial support by the General Fund.  We are able to monitor some activities that otherwise we could not.  Secondly, moves like the resolution’s demand to not support athletics from the academic side of the institution, push us toward greater commercialization.  She favored removing this line.  Prof. McCarthy asked whether the General Fund supports other extracurricular activities, and was told that it is.  Prof. Westefeld felt that an important thing is the process, and asked whether we should have an oversight committee.  Prof. Colangelo felt that if programs are hurting, we should have some university support, but he would like to see it done on a year-to-year basis.  Prof. Cox was in favor of using the General Fund to comply with Title IX, explaining that if you have soccer and rowing, either you spend more or you get rid of something, and it probably wouldn’t be a revenue sport.  He would also like to have the flexibility to support athletics or not. 

Prof. Muhly felt that he had not heard a compelling argument for supporting athletics, and wanted to hear more arguments.  He would have liked to see a grandfather [sic] clause to keep the $500,000 funding level.  Prof. Irish explained that, as she understood it, the funding went up because it had started out too low.  Prof. LeBlond found it an interesting assumption that athletics makes money, as a sinecure, yet that money does not flow the other way.  He also thought that repartitioning of resources between men and women needs to be monitored.  Without support from the General Fund we have no way to protect second-class members.  We need to monitor the interface.  

Prof. Porter asked whether there are other enterprises that are not supported by the General Fund.  General Counsel Schantz listed residence halls, Cambus, and parking as examples.  He thought that the arms race is the central issue, with spiraling costs of salaries, but that it is hard to disarm unilaterally.  Prof. LeBlond asked whether there are explicit discussions when hiring coaches about expected graduation rates.  Prof. Altmaier answered that there are.  General Counsel Schantz added that there are incentive payments for meeting graduation rates.  Prof. Cox added that there are also incentives for getting into play-offs, and this could be damaging to students.  Prof. Slatton assured him that this is a current concern.  Prof. Colangelo thought that the Knight Commission is right on.  If everyone comes on board, it will be good for us because we play a lot of teams that are nowhere as compliant as we are.  But, we can do better.  He liked the tone of the resolution.  President Bhattacharjee concluded the discussion by explaining that if we vote for this, we will not be unilaterally disarming UI. The changes will not occur unless the whole CIC passes it.  

VI.  Adjournment

            The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 5:25. 

Respectfully submitted,

Erin Irish, Secretary