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On behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, David M. Hillis (professor, integrative biology and Faculty Council chair elect) submitted the following resolution endorsing the goals and principles1 of the recommendations from the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA), which are attached. The Council will discuss the proposed resolution at its meeting on January 28, 2008, and will take action on the resolution at its meeting on February 18.

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council and General Faculty



The Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) recently offered a set of proposals (“Framing the Future: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics,” COIA report adopted on 15 June 2007) that seek to limit the influence of outside constituencies upon collegiate athletics, and ensure that faculty have appropriate oversight of the associated academic programs. Not all the recommendations in this document are relevant to The University of Texas, and some of the recommendations are already followed at our institution. Nonetheless, the principles of these recommendations are in accord with the fundamental values of an institution that places academic excellence at the core of the University’s mission.

Proposed Motion:

Whereas the Faculty Council of The University of Texas at Austin finds that the proposals of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics are generally in accord with the values of The University of Texas, it hereby endorses the goals and principles of these proposals.

Distributed through the Faculty Council web site on January 16, 2008. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.

1 On February 4, 2008, the introductory wording was changed to more accurately reflect what the Faculty Council will vote upon.




Goals of the report:

Page 3
“…the primary goal of the COIA is to ensure that college sports are fully integrated within the academic goals, values and missions of our universities and colleges.”

Page 5
“Through the reforms proposed here, the long term goal of this paper is to ensure that athletics remains fully integrated into the academic mission of our universities. This goal will be achieved only if the faculty takes a leadership role in acknowledging the need for reform, getting stakeholders to work together, identifying specific problems, and developing real world, functional solutions. Success of these proposals is dependent on [Divison I A] faculty leaders and their campus Faculty Senate or equivalent ... strongly championing these reforms at the local, conference and national levels.”

Principles of the report:

Page 4
“The faculty is the steward of academic integrity on our campuses. Faculty members are specifically responsible for developing and upholding academic standards, maintaining intellectual rigor, monitoring student performance, providing career opportunities, and facilitating personal growth. The faculty is historically and, at some institutions, legislatively mandated to oversee all aspects of student life. The faculty adheres to two fundamental principles: that all students are treated fairly and equally, and that all students are provided with opportunities to succeed academically. Given these principles, it is imperative that faculty not only be concerned about athletics reform but in fact take the lead in developing and implementing reform initiatives and solutions.”

Principles underlying the proposed reforms:

Page 6
“The unique value of intercollegiate athletics lies in its potential to enhance the educational experience of student-athletes through engagement in sports. In the best of worlds, participation in college athletics plays an important role in the personal development of student-athletes, provides a community framework for other students, and develops strong institutional loyalty among students, alumni, faculty, and broader communities. When in concert with the educational mission of the institution, intercollegiate athletics clearly adds value to the educational experience of our student-athletes and to the institution as a whole. The success of college sports, however, has created a series of issues that threaten the academic integrity and financial stability of our universities and colleges. These issues will become increasingly problematic until reforms are implemented. Ensuring that college sports are aligned with academic goals requires acknowledgement of the following fundamental principles, which form the foundation for the reforms presented in this paper:

Intercollegiate athletics must be in alignment with the educational mission of the institution. The fundamental mission of a university is academic in nature. Higher education institutions provide educational opportunities, promote personal growth, and generate and disseminate knowledge. College athletics must adhere to and support the institution’s academic mission in all its activities, including providing students with opportunities to succeed academically.

2 On February 4, 2008, the breakdown of the proposed COIA reforms were removed, and the goals and principles of COIA were added.


College sports must adhere to the collegiate athletics model. When consistent with educational goals, the benefits of intercollegiate athletics are tangible: they develop life skills and character in student-athletes, create a focus for the campus community, and maintain relationships between universities and its alumni and public. However, the primary reason for student-athletes to attend a college or university is to receive an education. Their athletic endeavors should be entirely subsidiary to their educational goals. Unlike professionals, college student-athletes do not receive compensation for participating in their sport, and what financial aid they do receive is strictly limited to paying for the costs of their education. The goals associated with athletic participation must complement rather than supplant the goals of education and personal growth.”



  Updated 2013 October 18
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