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Governance Working Group

Governance Working Group Minutes - May 28, 2002

The Governance Working Group met on May 28, 2002, from 2 to 3 pm, for a preliminary discussion of what we had learned from our interviews and from the email responses to our questions by current/former chairs of Athletic Council. We addressed the general questions of (1) whether, at this stage of our deliberations, the present governance structure was felt to be satisfactory; (2) whether there are particular problems or weaknesses and remedies for them; and (3) what further information we needed. We also considered, again on a preliminary basis, how we would answer the questions under principles 1.1 and 1.2 posed on pp. 11-13 of the NCAA Self-Study Instrument.

This was our first discussion of the positions that might end up being taken in our ultimate report, and it is important to emphasize that they are preliminary, subject to revision as we gather more information and/or as we hear from members of the working group (and subsequently of the subcommittee as a whole) who were not able to attend today's meeting. We thought that it was important to develop a good sense of where our report might be headed, so that we can more easily identify what steps we need to take next. IF ANYONE IN THE GOVERNANCE WORKING GROUP HAS RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE POSITIONS THAT I WILL OUTLINE BELOW, PLEASE LET THE ENTIRE GROUP KNOW (VIA THE LISTSERVE) RIGHT AWAY. Please note that we are leaving evaluations and recommendations with regards to compliance matters to the Compliance Working Group.

There were three areas in which the Governance Working Group felt that more information was needed. (1) An interview is to be arranged with Tom Hof. perhaps in conjunction with the Fiscal Integrity Subcommittee or our own Compliance Working Group which are also considering these issues, regarding relationships with boosters. (2) An interview or email response is to be arranged with a Board of Trustees representative regarding decisions the Board has made with regard to Athletics. (3) An interview or email response is to be arranged with President Eddie Pauline regarding Undergraduate Student Government's opportunity to make inputs into athletic policies/procedures.

In general, subject to revision based on what we may learn from the foregoing interviews, the group tentatively concluded that the current governance structure is satisfactory and that we could answer all of the Principle 1.1 questions affirmatively -- except perhaps (6) on the wide circulation of mission/goals. (6) can easily be satisfied by putting the Department of Athletics Mission and Values statements up on the Athletics web site. Pending more information on Board of Trustees policies and on Undergraduate Student Government opportunities for input, the answers to the questions under Principle 1.2 are likely to be affirmative as well. In short, the governance structure for OSU intercollegiate athletics appears to be in substantial conformity with NCAA principles and guidelines.

Particular improvements in governance structure since the first stage NCAA report in 1996 were (1) having the AD report directly to the President; (2) with that change, having Athletics' fiscal affairs come under the direct oversight of the VP for Business and Finance; and (3) adding a student athlete to the Athletic Council.

The group discussed several ways in which the governance structure could be made even better. We did not see these as responses to particular deficiencies, but rather as ways in which the high aspirations we have for our programs could be realized even more fully. These suggestions, which will be subject to further discussion before being put into our report, are: (1) The Athletic Council should be more involved, on an advisory basis, in the early stages of major facilities investment decisions and other major fiscal decisions; (2) Athletic Council generally should be empowered even more than it is to play a central role, typically on an advisory basis, on key decisions about intercollegiate athletics at OSU; (3) voting rights on Athletic Council should be reconsidered with particular attention paid to, under University Senate rules, which members should have them and which ones should not; and (4) the Athletics Department mission and values/commitments statements should be prominently circulated throughout the University and OSU Athletics communities, staring with prominent display on the Department's web site.

Attending: Paul Beck, Susan Hartmann, Kimberly Mahoney, Kris Richardson.

Minutes reported by:
Professor Paul A. Beck, Chair
Department of Political Science
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210-1373
Phone: 614-292-2880 Fax: 614-292-1146

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