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Governance Working Group

Governance Working Group met on May 14, 2002

The Governance Working Group met on May 14, 2002, from 1:30-3 pm, to interview Athletic Director Andy Geiger on the governance of intercollegiate athletics. Prior to the meeting, we had provided AD Geiger with the list of questions attached below.

In responding to these questions, AD Geiger made the following points.

(1) Governance: Purpose of governance is to ensure fundamental relationship between athletic enterprise and the mission of the University. Athletics should be dedicated to maximizing the experience of the student athlete.

(2) Governance Structure: Ours is the classic model of the AD reporting to the president and a strong Athletic Council (AC). Reported to VP for Academic Affairs under President Gee, which worked fine. Key is people, not structures. Feels his working relationship with AC is good. Thinks it has as much "teeth" as it wants, though perhaps it would have wanted less top-down decision making regarding building new facilities. Would rather operate with AC by consensus than taking votes on things. He has wanted to insulate AC from some difficult decisions, but is involving it in more and more things.

(3) Academic goals: Top goal is to get graduation rates up, and this is taken into account in hiring of coaches. Program is taking fewer academic risks these days, and he signs off personally on all letters of intent. GECs and quarters are special challenges.

(4) Problems: Ultimate worry of any program is academic fraud, and his department is committed to doing things right to prevent it. Boosters also are problem on some campuses, but are not here. Major need to build more facilities when he started here, and still wants to find funding to add more.

(5) Changes in Governance: Now has faculty member responsible for liaison between academics and athletics.

(6) Most Important Decisions: Adding 3 sports, firing coaches (which involved President or VP for Student Affairs, but not Athletic Council), hiring coaches (makes decisions himself with input from search committee, polling of trustees, and involvement of President), developing physical facilities, dealing with NCAA violations. General principle is that trustees are involved more the greater the risk. Re violations: OSU leads Big 10 in self-reported violations and is very hard-nosed about reporting them. Hasn't had a major violation since he came to OSU.

(7) Perceived Weaknesses/Problems: Doesn't see any.

(8) Representation: Wishes coaches were more involved in governance process, with AC, but they do not seem to want to be, have plenty to do already.

Attending: Paul Beck, Doug Berman, Leslie Fine, Susan Hartman, Mark Morrison, Kimberly Mahoney, Kris Richardson, Dan Slane, Katy Virtue, and Anne Wilkinson

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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