In 1990-92, Penn was one of 34 institutions in an NCAA pilot program in the certification of athletics. Now the University is beginning its self-study, as called for by the new program. It will be followed by a site visit scheduled for April 1997.--Ed.

NCAA Certification: Self-Study of Athletics

[Text issued by the University News and Public Affairs Office on February 23.]

The University of Pennsylvania will begin a year-long, campus-wide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program. Specific areas the study will cover are academic and financial integrity, rules compliance, as well as a commitment to equity.

Academic accreditation is common in colleges and universities. This program is the first to focus solely on certification of athletic programs. Following a pilot project, the NCAA Division I membership overwhelmingly supported the program and its standards at the 1993 annual convention.

The certification program's purpose is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics operations. It will open up athletics to the rest of the Penn community and to the public. Penn will benefit by increasing awareness and knowledge of the athletics program campus-wide, confirming its strengths and developing plans to improve in areas of concern.

The committee responsible for the study will include University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin, Vice President for Finance Stephen T. Golding, various members of Penn's faculty, staff and students, as well as Athletic Director Steve Bilsky and other members of the athletic department. Last week, a member of the NCAA compliance services staff conducted a one-day orientation visit to meet with the committee and its subcommittees early in the process.

Within each area to be studied by the committee, the program has set standards. called operating principles, which were adopted by the Association to place a "measuring stick" upon which all Division I members will be evaluated. The University also will examine how the activities of the athletics program relate to the mission and purpose of the institution.

Once Penn has concluded its own study, an external team of reviewers will conduct a three- to four-day evaluation visit on campus. Those reviewers will be peers from other colleges, conference offices and universities. That team will report to the NCAA Com-mittee on Athletics Certification, another independent group. The committee will then determine Penn's certification status and announce the decision publicly. For institutions that fail to conduct a comprehensive self- study or to correct problems, tough sanctions can be imposed.

The three options of certification status are: certified, certified with conditions, and not certified.

The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics. The primary purpose of the association is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body. Activities of the NCAA membership include formulating rules of play for NCAA sports, conducting national championships, adopting and enforcing standards of eligibility, and studying all phases of intercollegiate athletics.

NCAA Certification Committee

Steering Committee
Stephen Golding, V.P. for Finance, Chair
Barbara Beck, Dir. News & Pub.Aff.  (ex-officio)
Steven Bilsky, Director of Athletics (mandated) 
Carolyn Campbell, Ivy League Office 
Helen Davies, Professor of Microbiology        
Carolyn Schlie Femovich, Senior Associate Athletic Director (mandated)        
Raymond Fonseca, Dean,  Dental Medicine        
John Fry, Executive Vice President        
Peter Hand, Professor of Animal Biology, Vet
Peter Kuriloff, Faculty Senate Chair-Elect/Professor of Education        
Larry Moneta, Associate VPUL      
Judith Rodin, President (mandated)        
Steven Schutt, V.P. & Chief of Staff, President's Office        
Susan Shaman, Asst.V.P., Planning/Analysis        
Kenneth Shropshire, Prof. Legal Studies (mandated)        
Willis Stetson, Dean of Admissions        
Michael Wachter, Deputy Provost  

Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance         
Peter Hand, Prof. Animal Biology/Vet, Chair        
Elton Cochran-Fikes, Assoc. Athletic Director        
Cissie Leary, Women's Tennis Coach        
Anthony S. Minisi, Esq., Charter Trustee        
Debra Newman, exec. asst. to Athletic Director        
Frank Roth, General Counsel        
Jennifer Strawley, Student-Athlete (softball)        
Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, VPUL

Academic Integrity Larry Moneta, Assoc. VPUL, Chair Patrick Baker, Women's Soccer Coach Byron Dresner, Assoc. Dir. Wharton Undergrad Robert Giegengack, Professor of Geology Stanley (Skip) Jarocki, Assoc. Athletic Director Deana Lewis, Student-Athlete (Women's Basketball) David Pope, Assoc. Dean Undergrad/SEAS Robert Rescorla, Assoc. Dean Undergrad, SAS Timothy Ryan, Dir. Planning, Admissions Justin Shellaway, Chair of Honor Council Fiscal Integrity Michael Wachter, Deputy Provost, Chair Susan Shaman, Asst. V.P. Plan/Analysis, Co-chair Alfred Beers, Comptroller Carolyn Chin, Student-Athlete (Women's Lacrosse) Bonnie Devlin, Dir. Development, School and Center Planning Margaret Feeney, Women's Volleyball Coach Rosemarie Flynn, Resource Planning & Budget Edwin Ledwell, Dir. Admin. Affairs, Athletics William Schilling, Dir. Student Financial Aid Decker Uhlhorn, Dir. Development & Public Relations, Athletics Mark Van Meter, Student-Athlete (Varsity Football) Rick Whitfield, Managing Director, Internal Audit Commitment to Equity Helen Davies, Professor of Microbiology, Chair Val Cloud, Women's Field Hockey Coach Carolyn Schlie Femovich, Senior Associate Athletic Director Gil Jackson, Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Anita Jenious, Affirmative Action Officer Edward Lusk, Associate Professor of Statistics Ruth McCorkle, Professor of Nursing and Chair, Gender Equity Committee Dawn McGee, Student-Athlete (Women's Track and Field) John Roberts, Professor of Folklore and Folklife Jorge Santiago-Aviles, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Jane Williams, Acting Director of Development, School of Medicine


March 5, 1996
Volume 42 Number 23

Return to Almanac's homepage.

Return to the index for this issue.