The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday May 31st

Athlete working group at UNC might disband

“The working group is finishing its tasks; it is not an ongoing group,” said Joy Renner, chairwoman of the Faculty Athletics Committee. “The question is how much does the FAC take on?”

The working group, along with some members of the Faculty Athletics Committee, met Friday.

The working group was created in 2013 “to develop a rigorous and transparent set of processes to promote academic success and safeguard academic integrity for student-athletes during their entire experience at UNC-Chapel Hill” according to the group’s objective statement.

Since the group’s creation, it has given the Faculty Executive Committee, the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes and the Faculty Athletics Committee information on topics affecting student-athletes’ time at UNC, including enrollment, advising and admissions.

The group plans to document these processes in a website sometime during spring 2015. The website is currently under development.

They have gathered more than 70 recommendations as to how the processes should be implemented and update Chancellor Carol Folt continually on the progress.

“Each recommendation has an owner,” said Andrew Perrin, a member of the working group and the FAC. “Some are FAC and some are not, but it would be odd to have the working group continue.”

Perrin said the Faculty Athletics Committee might need more resources if the working group disbands. Though the committee members are elected by the faculty, most of them are volunteers and have other jobs.

“We can’t run or control athletics,” he said. “If we have a better resourced FAC, it’s possible that we will be able to catch problems sooner.”

Michelle Brown, director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes and a member of the working group, had doubts about disbanding the group.

“A lot of the success we’ve had was because of the power of getting everyone together,” she said. “I think we’ll lose some of that. I think we still have work to be done.”

Some members suggested keeping the working group active, but changing its role from reviewing to monitoring the progress of its objectives.

Renner said the Faculty Athletics Committee and the working group need to meet with other committees before deciding to hand over the working group’s objectives to other committees and groups.

“There needs to be a broader conversation with a bigger group,” she said. “All kinds of decisions we make have unintended consequences because one person wasn’t in the room to inform us on something we may have missed.”


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