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

Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance

Introduction

During the time that has elapsed since MSU-Bozeman's last NCAA certification visit in 1995, the leadership of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the University has gone through significant change. In the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics both the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Senior Woman Administrator have left the University, and since July 2001, these positions have been filled with interim appointments. A new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics was recently named and formally began his duties on May 1, 2002.

At the institutional level, President Mike Malone passed away in December 1999, and for some eleven months Dr. Terry Roark served as the University's Interim President. Dr. Geoff Gamble was named President in December 2000. In addition to these changes of leadership in the President's Office, the Provost and Vice President for Finance and Administration positions have seen similar turnover with Dr. David Dooley being named Provost in the spring of 2001. Mr. Craig Roloff, former Assistant Vice President/Administration, is currently serving as Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration. In each of these positions, several individuals preceded these incumbents since the 1995 NCAA visit. In addition, in 1998, Dr. Allen Yarnell's title was changed from Vice Provost for Student Affairs to Vice President for Student Affairs.

Through these significant changes in leadership, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has maintained a full schedule of competition with academically eligible student-athletes. The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), members of the Registrar's Office and staff in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics have monitored student-athletes' academic progress and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' compliance with NCAA and Big Sky Conference policies and regulations. With respect to the practice of certifying eligibility of student-athletes and monitoring their academic progress, the Governance Subcommittee found that the individuals involved consistently approached their responsibilities with a high degree of integrity and loyalty to the students and the University.

With new leadership have come changes in philosophies, expectations, and practices in regard to institutional management and leadership. This "new way of doing business" stems from President Gamble's philosophy of leadership and management that is grounded in rational and structured planning, data-based assessment, and accountability. During the past year, along with the rest of the University, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has been brought into campus-wide planning and budgeting processes. As such, when the search for a new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics was initiated in the fall of 2001, the requirements for filling the position were characterized by experience in intercollegiate athletic leadership and an operational understanding of (1) the business side of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, (2) the management of its staff and coaches, and (3) the appropriate relationship of the Department and student-athletes to the academic programs of the University.

Within this background of change, the Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance Subcommittee conducted a review of the governance of MSU-Bozeman's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and its commitment to rules compliance. The following reflects the subcommittee's findings and observations.

Previous Certification Self-Study

1. List all "corrective actions," "conditions for certification" or "strategies for improvement" imposed by the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification in its first-cycle certification decisions (if any) as they relate to governance and commitment to rules compliance issues. In each case, provide: (a) the original "corrective action," "condition," or "strategy" imposed; (b) the action(s) taken by the institution and the dates of those action(s); and (c) an explanation for any partial or non-completion of such required actions. [Note: The institution is not required to respond to recommendations for required actions developed by the peer-review team unless those same recommendations were adopted by the Committee on Athletics Certification.]

Strategy for Improvement: "Within one calendar year, have in place a system for periodic evaluation of the institution's compliance program, conducted by an authority outside of the athletics department."

Action fulfilled by Montana State University-Bozeman in February 1997 and February 2001.

2. List all actions the institution has completed or progress it has made regarding all plans for improvement/recommendations developed by the institution during its first-cycle certification process in the governance and commitment to rules compliance area. Also, describe any additional plans for improvement/recommendations developed by the institution since the first-cycle certification decision was rendered by the Committee on Athletics Certification. Specifically include: (a) the original plan; (b) the actions taken by the institution; (c) the date(s) of the action(s); (d) actions not taken or not completed; and (e) explanations for partial completion.

Recommendations of the 1995 Self-Study and Response to Institutional Actions

Two of the four recommendations from the 1995 self-study do not appear to have been addressed or completely resolved at the time of this self-study.

a. That the Vice Provost for Student Affairs initiates and develops a general long-range planning document for athletics.

Since the 1995 self-study, this recommendation has been partially addressed through the development of an equity plan and a financial plan. At the time of the present self-study, there is not a "general long-range planning document" for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Over the past several years the emphasis was on the development of a sound fiscal plan. The current long-range fiscal plan for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is a first step to the goal of a general long-range planning document.

b. That the President grant the FAR funded release time to fulfill his/her existing responsibilities, to increase monitoring for rules compliance, and to supervise the effort of a formal audit of rules compliance annually.

This recommendation was implemented.

c. That information about rules compliance and information on how to report suspected violations be placed on MSUinfo to provide involvement of the campus community in rules compliance.

This recommendation was implemented.

d. That the President and the Vice Provost for Student Affairs work with the Athletics Committee and the Department of the Athletics to improve the avenues for communication among those responsible for policy formulation and implementation and the campus community at large.

While during the past 18 months the President and Vice President for Student Affairs have met several times with the Athletics Committee, communication between the Committee, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the University as a whole has not been often or substantive. As described above, the Athletics Committee has functioned without purpose for the past two-to-three years. While meetings with the Athletics Committee produced slow progress, the situation has now changed. Recent Athletics Committee meetings have focused on the need to clarify its role between the University and Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and identify specific goals or functions. As a first step, the Athletics Committee conducted student-athlete exit interviews for spring 2002.