Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee
December 3, 2014
*Committee Chair for 2014-2015
U = Undergraduate
G = Graduate
[xx-yy] service period
9 Voting members/5 required for a quorum.
Attending: Craig Tovey, Reta Pikowsky, Anne Pollock, Charles Mulford, Jennifer Abrams, Trevor Lindsay, Carrie Shepler
1. The Menís and Womenís Indoor/Outdoor Track travel schedules were the primary agenda item for this meeting.
Coach Drosky and Phyllis Labaw (Associate Director of Athletics, Academic Support Services) attended the meeting to discuss the travel schedules.
When reviewed independently, these travel schedules do not present a concern because they are within the current maximum of 10 days of travel time. However, since there is cross-over of student-athletes in these sports, the travel days could be significantly higher and could violate the 10-day rule. It was for this reason that the Committee wanted to make sure that it understood the true impact of these proposed travel schedules.
Coach Drosky and Ms. Labaw filled the Committee members in on some basic information about these sports and these student-athletes.
∑ The student-athletes in these sports are high performers. There are rarely academic issues with these students.
∑ The nature of the sport allows students to study when traveling and between events at the meets. This is not true of other sports.
∑ These sports are reviewed by the NCAA as different sports and each one counts toward the total that we need for NCAA Division I status.
∑ As we heard from the Golf coach, these sports also have challenges when seeking facilities. There are not many indoor track facilities, and for those that exist, the meets have become very well attended by other institutions. Events that used to be one-day events are now two-day events or longer.
∑ The team travels by bus when within 6 or so hours of the location, but flies to ones more distant.
∑ The travel schedules that are presented now are actually shorter than ones presented in past years. This year, for the first time, the Committee looked at them in comparison, not independently.
∑ Not all student-athletes participate in each event.
∑ Conference and NCAA meets are not certain. The student-athletes have to qualify to attend. The number of our student-athletes who have qualified for the NCAA event is very small and has remained so.
∑ The NCAA even will be in the Summer, and would therefore not impact Spring classes.
∑ The travel for women now amounts to 10.5 days.
∑ The travel for men now amounts to 11.5 days.
∑ Neither the menís nor the womenís group violate the 10-year rule in terms of actual classes missed.
Observations and comments from Committee members:
∑ It may not be fair or a good practice to think about this in terms of whether these are high performing students. The actual performance of students isnít the question; itís rather what makes sense from a practical and academic point of view to limit travel to a reasonable number of trips so that all sports have an equal opportunity to compete, yet a limit to ensure focus on their lives as students.
∑ The discussion again turned to the difference between travel days and actual class days missed. The fact that a team is traveling on a given day does not mean that all students are missing classes that day.
∑ If sports tend to compete over the weekend, we could see Fridays missed more frequently. We also need to take that into account. Does the travel schedule put more stress on one day of the week versus another?
∑ Looking at individual student class schedules against the travel dates may be possible, but it would be more work, too much work for the larger sports.
∑ The Committee will look at the policy again at its next meeting, in relation to the policies from other schools that the Registrar provided, to determine if some changes or clarifications are needed. The question of travel days versus actual classes missed will be examined. It may be that the best policy is to have review of the travel schedules with both things in mind since students may not be missing classes on a given day, but may be missing other activities on campus that contribute to their education.
2. A motion was made to approve the Menís and Womenís Indoor/Outdoor Track travel schedules based upon the actual number of missed class days. The motion was seconded and approved.
3. The Spring meeting schedule is as follows. It may be, based on teaching and class schedules, that this needs to change. The Chair will ask for an email discussion about the meeting dates and times (and location).
Wednesday, January 7, 2014, 4:00 PM
Wednesday, February 4, 2014, 4:00 PM
Wednesday, March 4, 2014, 4:00 PM
Wednesday, April 1, 2014, 4:00 PM
Wednesday, May 6, 2014, 4:00 PM
Dr. Craig Tovey, ISyE