Montana State University-Bozeman
NCAA Athletics Certification
Self-Study 2001-2002

Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance

Operating Principle

1.1 Mission of the Athletics Program and the Institution

Maintaining intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program is a basic purpose of the Association. Consistent with this fundamental policy,

  • The institution shall demonstrate that the mission and goals of the athletics program:
    1. Relate clearly to the mission and goals of the institution;
    2. Support the educational objectives, academic progress and general welfare of student-athletes;
    3. Support equitable opportunity for all students and staff, including women and minorities;
    4. Embrace the Associationís principles of sportsmanship and ethical conduct;
    5. Are widely circulated among the institutionís internal and external constituencies.
  • The institution shall demonstrate that the actual practices of the institutionís athletics program are consistent with the athletics program mission and goals.
Self-Study Items

1. Please provide mission statements of the institution and athletics program and indicate the date of their last revision.

Mission Statement - Montana State University-Bozeman (Revised: Fall 2001)

"To provide a challenging and richly diverse learning environment in which the entire university community is fully engaged in supporting student success.

To provide an environment that promotes the exploration, discovery, and dissemination of new knowledge.

To provide a collegial environment for faculty and students in which discovery and learning are closely integrated and highly valued.

To serve the people and communities of Montana by sharing our expertise and collaborating with others to improve the lives and prosperity of Montanans.

In accomplishing our mission, we remain committed to the wise stewardship of resources through meaningful assessment and public accountability."

Mission Statement - Montana State University-Bozeman Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (Revised: July 2002)

"The mission of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at Montana State University-Bozeman is to develop and enhance athletic programs promoting academic integrity, athletic competition and social responsibility consistent with University philosophies. The Department of Athletics will provide:

Opportunities for a richly diverse academic and athletic environment in which the entire University community is fully engaged in supporting student-athletesí success.

A competitive opportunity that strives for athletic excellence within the Big Sky Conference and NCAA while promoting self-discipline, sportsmanship and ethical conduct.

A mutually beneficial relationship which enhances welfare, personal growth and success between student-athletes and all constituencies.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to promoting honesty, integrity, fiscal responsibility, and a sense of Bobcat Pride throughout the University community and the State of Montana. Student-athletes and staff of the department shall be afforded these opportunities regardless of sex, race, creed, or national origin."

2. Explain how the mission of the athletics program relates to that of the institution as a whole.

The mission of the athletics program supplements and expands on that of the University as a whole. For example:

  • MSUís mission is to provide a richly diverse learning environment. Athletics helps with this effort through competition and the opportunity to develop and excel in a particular area of achievement.
  • MSUís mission states that the entire University is engaged in supporting student success. The athletics mission states that although the student is given the opportunity to develop and excel, the primary goal of the athlete is academic pursuits, which supports student success.
  • MSUís mission is to serve the people and communities of Montana. Athletics serves as a liaison between the University and community, promoting pride in the University among the students, alumni, faculty, and citizens of Montana.

(Note: The mission statement of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics addresses equity issues. These, however, are not mentioned in the MSU-Bozeman mission statement)

3. Describe how and to whom the athletics program's mission statement is circulated.

The mission statement is available in the 2001-2002 Student-Athlete Handbook and in promotional material that is provided to the public. The statement is most widely circulated, however, by its presence on the website for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. (URL: www.msubobcats.com)

4. Describe briefly, using specific examples, how the athletics program's mission and goals are or are not supported by the actual practices of the athletics program.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athleticsí mission and goals are supported by the actual practices of the Department, in a large part through the Eisenman-Davison Athletics Academic Center, which opened in August 1998. This facility offers an area conducive to studying and is complete with computer access. The Athletics Academic Coordinator works directly with approximately 300 student-athletes representing all sports. The goals of the center are to:

  • Support efforts of every athlete toward intellectual development and graduation;
  • Assist student-athletes in utilizing athletics to be successful in meeting the changing needs of young adult development;
  • Promote respect for diversity among student-athletes;
  • Enhance strong self-worth among student-athletes;
  • Encourage student-athletes to make meaningful contributions in their communities; and,
  • Promote ownership by student-athletes of their academic, personal and social responsibilities.

Two measures of academic success of student-athletes at MSU-Bozeman reflect, in part, the success of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the University in supporting the studentsí academic goals. Graduation rates of student-athletes are higher than the University as a whole (See Academic Integrity Table II-7) and the GPA of student-athletes is higher on average than the University as a whole. (See Academic Integrity Figures II-5 and II-6)