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Lafayette Seeks Reaffirmation of NCAA Athletics Certification

January 10, 2005

Lafayette and the National Collegiate Athletic Association are working together to reaffirm the College's NCAA certification as part of the second cycle of the NCAA's Division I athletics certification program.

Lafayette's intercollegiate sports program has been certified by the NCAA since 1998. The College earned certification during the initial phase of the certification program, which encompasses academic integrity, rules compliance, student-athlete welfare and equity, and other factors. The NCAA requires colleges and universities to review their athletics programs every 10 years.

The certification followed a year-long process in which committees of faculty, students, administrators, coaches, trustees, and alumni examined the athletics program with respect to academic and fiscal integrity and rules compliance. As a first step in obtaining reaffirmation of the certification, Lafayette President Arthur J. Rothkopf appointed a Steering Committee to guide a similar process.

"Lafayette has long been committed to offering students the opportunity to participate in an intercollegiate athletics program that is fully integrated with the College's educational mission and significantly enriches the Lafayette experience. Our unconditional NCAA certification is a testament to our success in carrying out that commitment," Rothkopf said. "I'm grateful to the many members of the campus community whose dedication and hard work resulted in Lafayette's current certification and to those who are giving their time and efforts in the new process that will lead to reaffirmation of our certification."

Barry W. McCarty, dean of enrollment services, is Steering Committee chair.

"The purpose of the self-study is to permit the Lafayette community to examine the athletic program to ensure that Lafayette is in compliance with the NCAA operating principles," McCarty says. "The study will draw upon institutional data, planning documents, and significant discussion among participants addressing the goals of the self-study and developing a report in preparation for review by the NCAA's athletics certification committee and, later, a peer-review team that will visit our campus."

The steering committee will submit its report on the self-study to the NCAA's Committee on Athletics Certification (COC) in October for review through early 2006. A team of representatives of other colleges and universities is scheduled to visit Lafayette next February to evaluate the self-study and the athletics program's conformity with Lafayette's mission and NCAA operating principles. The peer-review team will report its findings to the NCAA's COC, which will conduct a final review in April 2006 prior to determining and announcing Lafayette's status with regard to reaffirmation of its certification.

The process began Jan. 10 with an orientation for steering committee members, subcommittee chairs, and others by the NCAA via videoconference. A web site keeps constituents on campus and beyond informed during the self-study and review process.

Lafayette's broad-based intercollegiate athletics program includes 11 varsity sports for men, 11 for women, and one that is coed. Lafayette is a charter member of the Patriot League, which was founded on the principle of admitting athletes who are academically representative of their class. Other full league members are American, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lehigh, and Navy. Associate members are Fordham (football), Georgetown (football), and Villanova (women's lacrosse).

Also serving on the Steering Committee are Ann Carter, director of development communications (chief report editor); Roger B. Clow, director of college communications (coordinator of certification communication); Michelle C. Geoffrion-Vinci, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures; Gladstone A. Hutchinson, dean of studies; David R. Johnson, associate provost and faculty athletic representative; Kimberly A. Keenan-Kirkpatrick, associate director of athletics and senior women's administrator; James F. Krivoski, vice president for student affairs and dean of students; Barbara Levy '77, vice chair of the Board of Trustees Committee on Athletics and Student Affairs; Bruce E. McCutcheon, director of athletics; and Rothkopf.

The steering committee also includes the subcommittee chairs, Leslie F. Muhlfelder, vice president for human resources and general counsel (Subcommittee on Equity and Student-Athlete Welfare); Steven M. Nesbit, associate professor mechanical engineering (Subcommittee on Governance and Rules Compliance); and James P. Schaffer, director of engineering (Subcommittee on Academic Integrity).

Carolyn Schlie Femovich, executive director of the Patriot League, is a Steering Committee member ex-officio.

The Subcommittee on Equity and Student-Athlete Welfare also includes George L. Bright, associate director of athletics; Andrew D. Brown '06, student-athlete (football); Jodi A. Frey, assistant dean of students and director of recreation services; Dru Germanoski, Dr. Ervin R. VanArtsdalen '35 Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences and department head; J. Ronald Martin, professor of chemical engineering; Tammy A. Smith, head coach of women's basketball; Kevin D. Worthen, associate dean of students and director of student life administration; and Samantha L. Ziegler '06, student-athlete (lacrosse).

Also serving on the Subcommittee on Governance and Rules Compliance are Thomas H. Bruggink, professor of economics and business; Alan W. Childs, professor of psychology; James L. Dailey, head coach of men's and women's swimming and diving; Johnson; Ian P. Law '06, student-athlete (baseball); Keenan-Kirkpatrick, and Elaine R. Reynolds, associate professor of biology and chair of neuroscience.

The Subcommittee on Academic Integrity also includes Dan F. Bauer, professor of anthropology and sociology; Francis A. Benginia, registrar; Dennis L. Bohn, head coach of men's soccer; Geoffrion-Vinci; Hutchinson; Kaitlin M. Kokolus '06, student-athlete (basketball); Barbara K. Lipkin, coordinator of Academic Resources Center; and Ronald E. Robbins, associate dean of studies.

Keenan-Kirkpatrick serves as Lafayette's principal liaison to the NCAA for the self-study.