Pullout: Report of the Provost's Committee on Distributed Learning


COUNCIL Year End Reports, 1997-98

The three reports (Pluralism, Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, and Safety and Security) are on the University Council's April 22 agenda for discussion. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. in McClelland Lounge, The Quad, and is open to observers who register in advance their interest in attending, by calling the Office of the Secretary at 898-7005.

Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics

The University Council Committee on Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (CRIA) met three times during the 1997-98 academic year. It was charged by University Council to: (1) review and discuss the consultant's report on recreational facilities at Penn, (2) act as an institutional resource for University community input to Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics as plans for facilities evolve, and (3) keep in touch with action items related to the NCAA's recertification process.

CRIA focused on the Brailsford and Dunlavey Consulting Firm's report, which was commissioned as part of the University's Agenda for Excellence, on the status of Penn's recreational facilities as they relate to intramural sports, sports clubs, instructional classes, wellness/fitness, informal/drop-in events, special events, and office/storage space for support services.

Mike Diorka, director of recreation, presented the findings of the Brailsford and Dunlavey report, which was validated through significant input from a number of campus focus groups, administrative discussions, e-mail student surveys, and mail surveys of faculty and staff. The survey results revealed recreational areas that the campus population would like to see enhanced and also indicated that Penn's recreational facilities are generally inadequate to handle the recreational demands of a university of our size.

Brailsford and Dunlavey recommended that the recreational facilities Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics facilities at Hutchinson Gym, for structured intramural/team activities. The self-directed recreational component would be the first area to be addressed. The survey also revealed: (1) that students were dissatisfied with the appearance and cleanliness of the facilities and (2) a willingness to pay for recreation were the facilities improved significantly.

Recognizing the importance of modern recreational facilities in the increasingly competitive recruitment and retention of quality students, faculty, and staff CRIA voted unanimously to draft a letter to President Rodin strongly supporting Brailsford and Dunlavey's recommended improvements to Penn's recreational facilities. A letter was sent on April 9, 1998.

CRIA was updated on some of the NCAA certification action items identified by Penn for improvement of its Intercollegiate Athletic program. Associate Athletic Director, D. Elton Cochran-Fikes, is preparing a document outlining NCAA rules and how Penn's policies will permit compliance with these rules. The policies covered by this document will be reviewed by a steering committee and reported to CRIA when approved.

In addition, the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA), with student-athlete input, will continue to address gender equity issues by making an effort to aggressively recruit qualified women and minorities for head coaching positions. Concerning student-athlete gender equity issues at Penn, the athletic participation rate is approximately 38% women and 62% men, while the student body is almost 50% women and 50% men. This participation rate is comparable with other Ivy League institutions. An athletic interest and abilities survey is being conducted this spring to assist the DRIA in its decisions regarding gender equity issues, for example the disparity of the percentage of women participating in athletics versus that of women in the student body as they relate to squad sizes in intercollegiate, club, and intramural sports and the possibility of the addition of new women's teams. The examination of squad size is not only a gender issue, but also an important operational and budgetary one for DRIA. DRIA will report the survey findings to CRIA.

Lastly, CRIA discussed the drug-testing policy at Penn. It was informed by D. Elton Cochran-Fikes that: (1) all student-athletes are required to complete Ivy League and NCAA forms, including the NCAA Drug-Testing Consent form, to be eligible for intercollegiate participation; (2) Neither Penn nor the Ivy League test student-athletes for drug use, however, they may be tested as a result of participation in an NCAA championship, a national governing body championship, or as part of the NCAA year-round drug testing program; (3) Penn has received grant funding for drug-alcohol programs for student-athletes; and (4) approximately ten years ago, the Ivy League investigated drug testing as a league in consultation with team doctors, but found that such testing was not necessary.

It is recommended that during the coming academic year, CRIA continue to:

(1) review and discuss plans to improve Penn's recreational facilities, (2) act as an institutional resource for University community input to Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics as plans for facilities evolve, and (3) keep in touch with action items associated with the NCAA's re-certification process.

-- Peter Hand, Chair

1997-98 Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics Committee

Chair: Peter Hand (animal biology/vet) Faculty: Steven Galetta (neurology/med); Stephen Gluckman (infectious diseases/med); Hendrik Hameka (chemistry); Peter Hand (animal biology/vet) (chair); Alan Heston (economics); Edward Lally (pathology/dental); Cynthia Scalzi (nursing); Raymond Sweeney (clinical studies, New Bolton Center/vet). Graduate/Professional Students: Jennifer Giordano, Heather Kelly; Undergraduate Students: Marc Edelman, Jeremy Moneta; PPSA: Erika Gross, Jennifer Wolman; A-3: None appointed. Ex Officio: Steve Bilsky (director, division of recreation and intercollegiate athletics); Larry Moneta (associate vice-president campus services); Willis Stetson (dean of admissions); Michael Burton (representative of President's office).

Almanac, Vol. 44, No. 30, April 21, 1998