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The Daily Tar Heel

Faculty Council talks athlete graduation rates

A record 347 UNC student-athletes were on the 2013-14 ACC Academic Honor Roll, up from the previous high of 329 in 2012-13.

According to the Federal Graduation Rate calculated by the NCAA, 72 percent of UNC student-athletes graduated in the 2012-13 school year. Comparatively, the student body graduation rate was 88 percent.

“You can see there’s a gap there,” said Lissa Broome, faculty athletics representative to the ACC and NCAA. “It’s not dissimilar to the gaps at other universities. UVA has the exact same gap. But this is obviously a gap that we are looking at.”

Though the Wainstein and NCAA investigations are still underway, the Faculty Athletics Committee is working with student-athletes, coaches and faculty to ensure student-athletes are included in every aspect of the University community.

“I think it presents opportunities for us,” Broome said. “We can acknowledge the mistakes we’ve made and we can improve. And we’ve already improved the processes related to the academic experiences of student-athletes.”

The committee plans to improve those processes by continuing to monitor existing academic systems and policies and forming a fair culture, chairwoman Joy Renner said.

This year, the committee also plans to increase faculty-student communication by expanding the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

“Faculty student-athlete communication – we have a lot of that to do on this campus,” Renner said.

The council also heard a presentation on faculty retention and STEM learning progression at UNC.

Ron Strauss, executive associate provost and chief international officer, presented an analysis of faculty retention and recruitment data during the 2013-14 academic year. During the year, 20 faculty members left UNC due to external offers, a decrease compared to the 48 faculty members who left in the 2012-13 year.

In the 2013-14 year, UNC faculty received offers from Duke University, Pittsburgh University and the University of Washington, among others. Counteroffers made by the University were often successful in retaining faculty members with external offers, Strauss said.

But in the 2013-14 year, eight of the faculty who left UNC did so despite receiving a counteroffer.

“We’re in an academic market,” Strauss said. “There’s a big, active process here.”

According to Strauss’ report, 177 new faculty members were hired in the 2013-14 year from universities such as Duke, Ohio State and Harvard.

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