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Current Administration Response:

Thank you for your correspondence in regards to our Athletics Program and the events of the last few weeks. This certainly has been one of the most difficult processes that I have been faced with as Director of Athletics. I will endeavor to do my best to provide you an understanding of a very complex situation. As our University reflected and developed strategy to cope with the future, it became clear that Athletics would need to examine its offerings and its ability to provide quality experiences with diminishing resources. Services to programs, administrative attention, and resources were being spread far too thin to provide the kind of experiences we hoped to achieve.

In dropping sports after the 2001-02 academic year, our greatest concern has been for the welfare of our student-athletes and staff. To this end all coaches and athletes have been encouraged to avail themselves of counseling services in and out of the department. Our department offers an Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance regarding questions pertaining to eligibility and compliance with NCAA regulations.

The process of determining programs to be evaluated was inclusive of all departmental offerings and began two years ago when President Judith Ramaley addressed the Athletic Council as to the need for strategic changes. The Athletic Council's Chair, Faculty Athletics Representative, Past Chair, and Director of Athletics worked diligently on this issue and developed a "Framework for Change" which guided the process from the Athletics Department's perspective. The factor most closely examined for all sports were enrollment management, competitive success, constituent interest, future growth, budget and resources, and academic quality. No one factor carried more concern that another. Various options were presented to the President's Executive Committee and resultant decisions were made.

It is the sincere hope that this process is but the first step in helping Athletics become better suited to providing a quality experience for our student's programs, but it will take University commitment and enhanced dollars in many areas. Those areas in most need would be scholarships, facilities, operating revenue, and salaries.

It is the Department's desire to assist and provide information to anyone that has expressed concern over the sports elimination and remaining intercollegiate athletics program.

 

Sincerely,

Richard A. Farnham
Director of Athletics
RAF/sj




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