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The Daily Tar Heel

Faculty Athletics Committee meets for dinner at Chancellor Folt's house

The Faculty Athletics Committee toasts before a meeting at Chancellor Folt's house on Wednesday night.
The Faculty Athletics Committee toasts before a meeting at Chancellor Folt's house on Wednesday night.

“To hard work and getting things done,” Folt said in her toast.

Chairwoman J oy Renner said she wants the committee to be more transparent in the upcoming months in the wake of an athletic scandal that has shed negative light on the University in the last few years.

“I think we are ready to let people know where we are at and what we think about it,” Renner said.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Jim Dean acknowledged that the public should know what the committee has been working on but wanted to ensure time is taken to maintain accuracy.

“As a team, we would rather make sure we are right...than just frenetically running around like a game of whack-a-mole,” he said.

Folt agreed with Dean, stating that the University had provided the public a large amount of information about the scandals.

“It’s not like we haven’t given oodles of very specific information to every news agency,” Folt said.

“We cannot control what they put in the newspapers, the articles that are written... but we can respond, and we have.”

Dean also spoke of working Vice Chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs Joel Curran into the equation, describing the task with a well-known metaphor.

“It is like we are trying to change the tires of the bus while it is rolling down the road,” Dean said.

The committee also discussed the new student-athlete exit survey that has been drafted. The survey would be given to athletes that are leaving the University to evaluate their academic experiences.

The draft was examined by the committee to ensure the survey would incite responses that will maximize the amount of data collected.

Although the survey will be treated seriously, Renner said that this year’s results are a piece in the puzzle.

“This is not an ‘end all, be all’ where we are going to publish a paper on it...we just want to get a pulse of the current situation from the student-athletes themselves,” Renner said.

While the committee saw the benefits of having a completely anonymous survey, Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said there has to be some kind of method in which the specific student-athlete could be named.

“I know the committee wants to do things anonymously, but if we do it anonymously and there is an NCAA violation reported, then I need to follow up with the student-athlete in question but can’t because he or she is anonymous,” he said.

Near the end of the meeting, Renner spoke on the progress the committee has made as well as what she is still trying to figure out.

“People have heard me say ‘I don’t know’ if we can be a research one university and a competitive division one athletics program,” Renner said.

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