UNC administrators are making an effort to include student-athletes in the policies around the academic-athletic scandal.
This past spring, the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group, which spent two years updating academic policies for student athletes, closed out its work and implemented the Student-Athlete Academic Process Review Group. This new group will monitor and evaluate policies and processes for student athletes every semester.
“The group will be separate from, but have a liaison with, the Faculty Athletics Committee,” said professor Andrew Perrin, special assistant to the provost and dean for accreditation and curricular innovation. “FAC is an elected body of faculty, independent of administration, that handles policy and monitoring academic issues with respect to student-athletes.”
A goal of the new review group is to encourage student-athletes to take an active role in the dialogue surrounding the policies that affect them. Their involvement is key to the group’s success, said Deborah Clarke, special consultant to the provost.
“I think that their experiences bring so much to the table in terms of what they can tell us about,” she said.
The review group currently has one member who is a student-athlete, football player and senior Nick Weiler, but it is in the process of finding another.
According to Clarke, the University has implemented over 70 reforms to mend its academic integrity. Although the new group is one in the many changes UNC has made, Clarke does not believe it is another reform.
“I think of the process review group as an obvious or organic continuation of the working group in recognition of the fact that we have to continually review these processes,” she said.
The group reviews the processes of student athletes chronologically from recruitment through graduation. Faculty Athletics Representative Lissa Broome said no single process takes priority in the eyes of the review group.
“Every part of it is important and we’re trying to give attention to each part and make sure we don’t slight anything,” she said.
Detailed information about the improvement of the processes for student-athletes is publicly available on apsa.unc.edu.
Broome said the review group is a way to keep the University heading in the right direction.
“It’s thinking about the idea of continuous improvement and how we can go forward reviewing and making things better on an ongoing basis.”