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University Council Chair Kathryn Grant Madigan and other Council members listen as Interim President C. Peter Magrath delivers his opening remarks during the Sept. 17 meeting in the Couper Administration Building.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
University leaders stress reforming athletics-academics relationship
September 21, 2010Tweet
One step the University is taking toward integrating athletics into the rest of the campus is by giving Interim Athletic Director Jim Norris vice-presidential status, officials told the University Council during its Sept. 17 meeting.
The vice presidents and Norris shared their goals and objectives for 2010-11 with the Council at the meeting.
“Having Jim as athletic director in my inner circle of senior officers isn’t just a nice thing to do – it’s the right thing to do,” Interim President C. Peter Magrath told the Council members. “It’s a signal and a message for the integration of what we’re about.”
The integration is a major part of reforming the academics-athletics relationship, Interim Provost Jean-Pierre (Peter) Mileur said.
“We’d like to move from the perception that we are plugging holes and solving historical problems to the idea that we’re trying to develop a way of integrating athletics with the rest of the University that serves as a model for how Division I and a high-quality university can be part of the same community,” Mileur said. “As the story shifts, the opportunity to emphasize the academic accomplishments of our athletes will move to the forefront.”
The comments of Magrath and Mileur came after Norris gave a rousing address to the Council about the accomplishments of student-athletes in 2009-10. Among the highlights were: a collective 3.11 GPA, second-highest in the history of the Athletics Department; five conference champions; two nationally ranked teams; and more than 30,000 hours of community service.
“We fully expect to have our best year ever in 2010-11,” Norris said. “We have an incredibly supportive community, top-notch facilities and resources, and we have assembled the best staff in all of intercollegiate athletics. Our student-athletes are among the best, brightest and most talented anywhere. … We will be a source of great pride for this campus, community and Council.”
Other areas that need to be addressed in reforming the relationship between athletics and academics are enhanced academic oversight and clarification of policies concerning missed classes and admissions, Mileur said.
“We would like things to be as stable as possible by the time a new president arrives,” Mileur said.
Mileur mentioned several other goals and objectives for the Division of Academic Affairs:
• The University will continue to advance the law school approval process, he said, with an estimated opening date between 2015-16 and 2017-18. “This is a very involved process,” Mileur said, as the proposal must proceed through many areas, including the SUNY provost’s office, SUNY trustees and the governor’s office.
• Enhancing non-state revenue streams related to instruction. Examples are expanding the already successful summer and winter sessions, adding a spring intersession, and expanding the Professional MBA program in Manhattan. “The campus desperately needs to find ways to generate additional income from instructional activities outside the state system,” Mileur said. “There is enormous potential there outside the normal terms.” Magrath added, “This University has to be entrepreneurial and aggressive.”
• Reaccreditations: A Middle States reaccreditation visit will take place in early November, Mileur said.
• Completion of the library’s digital initiative: This software innovation will allow users to search all campus archival materials through a single portal.
• Facilities master plan: The completion will be coordinated with an enrollment plan out to 2024. Mileur cited 22,000 as the potential enrollment figure.
• Task Force for Undergraduate Education in the Digital Generation: One initiative to come out of the group could be an undergraduate research office, Mileur said.
Goals and objectives from other divisions included:
• Administration: Carrying out the construction of facilities such as the Engineering and Science Building, Science 5 and East Campus residence halls, on time and within budget.
• External Affairs: Enhance University resources through the “Bold. Brilliant. Binghamton” campaign.
• Research: Foster research opportunities through international partnerships, while augmenting Binghamton’s economic development and local outreach activities.
• Student Affairs: Create a position to help transfer students and enhance transfer-directed programs and services; develop an emerging leaders program.