Presented 9/18/02
Approved 9/18/02
Athletic Board
Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Holmes Student Center Room #406, 1:00 p.m.

Present:  Ray Tourville (proxy for Gip Seaver, Chair), Nestor Osorio, Paul Bauer, Debbie Brue, Richard Dowen, Ray Dembinski, Dave La Cerra, Keith Lambrecht, Ken Olson, Robert Wheeler, Brian Scholle, George Shur, Marcia Dick, Nolan Davis, Kevin Miller.

Guests:  Dee Abrahamson, Associate Athletics Director; Sheila Berg, Athletics Business Manager; Robert Collins, Associate Athletics Director.

I.    Call to Order – Ray Tourville

II.    Approval of April 3, 2002, Meeting Minutes

Robert Wheeler made a motion to approve the April 3, 2002 meeting minutes.  Nestor Osorio seconded the motion.

George Shur suggested a change in wording to add Sports Sponsorship as the specific item referred to when the Board voted to add to last month’s agenda.  Having no further additions, deletions or corrections, the motion was carried.

III.    Committee Reports

Before beginning the committee reports, Ray Tourville clarified that the items listed under each committee heading are only the charges to the committees and not agenda items.

A.    Budget

No report.  The committee will meet next week.

B.    Gender Equity

Debbie Brue began by saying the committee has worked on the interest survey and it has been determined that such a survey is no longer needed.  It is ready to go but the committee decided that the gender equity plan of the second cycle of the NCAA Certification process is a priority.  The plan was already in place but the committee added the current status of each item listed.

NIU works very hard for sports equity and does a very good job.  Item #5 Scheduling Games and Practice is a concern.  Item #16 Publicity is a good example of our efforts.  In the recruiting publications from the Athletics Department, for example, men’s and women’s golf are in the same book.  Baseball and softball got good publicity in the Northern Star and DeKalb Chronicle this year.  However, publicity continues to be an issue since the Chicago papers tend to publish approximately 80% of their stories about men’s sports.  Locally, however, women’s sports are very well publicized.  Item #20 Support Services is a concern in that the Athletics Department needs more technical staff and computer support.

The issues which were brought forth in March continue to be issues.  1.a. (lack of outdoor facility for women’s track and field) is a huge concern.  Cross country has access to the indoor track but that does not allow practice for field events.  The gender equity committee strongly encourages Athletics, Kinesiology and Physical Education, and Campus Recreation to continue to dialogue about opportunities.  Due to budget pressures, the committee would not like to see Athletics enter into a rent situation.

Debbie went on to report that the committee has identified four categories of concern.  Athletics needs to proceed with the concerns about the lack of a track for track and field both immediately and long-term.  Other concerns identified by the committee are things to be taken care of over time.

George Shur asked if there is a recommendation by the committee for Board action. It is his feeling that this is a matter of some immediate concern and that the committee is asking the Board to support its concerns that the administration address this.  Debbie agreed that the committee’s recommendation would be 2.a. and also item #5.

Ray Dembinski asked if the recommendations are consistent with the language in the certification gender equity plan.  Dee Abrahamson said it might update that plan but not contradict it.

Nolan Davis said Cary Groth had spoken to some of these issues at a previous meeting.  Dee said that in Cary’s absence, she doesn’t think anything has been established to address them yet.  Robert Collins added that the Field House appears to be available until December, 2002.  Beyond that, renovations could be started.

Dick Dowen said he remembers being at a University Council meeting at which the convocation center was sold to them on three points:  1) Title IX compliance.  The convocation center was needed for Title IX compliance in order to add women’s track.  Now we are being told that the facility is not adequate.  2) The opening of that facility would open up the Field House entirely for campus recreation.  Now, that is not true; and 3) he is hearing concern about the possibility of rent.  That facility is a revenue facility; students already pay huge fees and if we are talking about Athletics not paying rent, what is the priority and who is going to pay?  There are some huge inconsistencies here.

Ray Tourville said as for the Field House being exclusively for students, what is being pointed out is that if that is the case, there is a serious problem.  There is no practice space for the sports mentioned.

Debbie Brue was on the convocation center advisory board and thought it would be good because of the collaboration between Athletics and Campus Recreation.  Dick Dowen went on to say that there was a lack of information.  He is now being told the facility is not adequate for Title IX purposes.  Debbie said Title IX referred to indoor track but they also need an outdoor track.  We have one but it is in very bad shape.

George Shur said at the time the convocation center was proposed, all plans included either renovating the existing outdoor track or building a new one.  There had been some discussion about getting a grant from the State for using recycled rubber materials. Nothing has occurred and he doesn’t know why.  His sense is that Debbie is recommending the Board support the gender equity committee in the construction of this facility.  The Board does have the right, and if it is this group’s decision, to join in the concerns of the gender equity committee to urge that this be addressed.

As for the other things, there is an erroneous perception on campus that Athletics is moving to the west.  Teams do use Anderson Hall for practice and they also use Campus Recreation.  The synergy between Campus Recreation and Athletics must continue.  The worst thing for Athletics would be to isolate them on west campus.

Brian Scholle asked whether we have approached the DeKalb Park District about their indoor facility.  Dee said Athletics does use that facility and is charged approximately $100 per hour to use it; however, softball, baseball, and football have utilized the facility.

Ray Tourville said George is correct in stating that the original presentation about athletics facilities involved using recycled products for the track.  Ray then went on to ask what action the Board would like to take.

Debbie Brue made a motion to strongly recommend that Athletics, Physical Education, and Campus Recreation continue to work together in dialog and collaboration to provide practice and competitive opportunities in the Field House for those teams who do not have accessibility to the convocation center (Track and Field, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Volleyball, Softball, Baseball, Soccer, and Golf).  Bob Wheeler seconded the motion.  Having no further discussion on this, the motion was carried.

Debbie Brue made a motion that the Athletic Board move that the University obligate outdoor track facilities for the women’s track and field team.  Nestor Osorio seconded the motion.  Having no further discussion on this, the motion was carried.

Debbie Brue made a motion that the report of the Gender Equity committee be attached to the minutes from this meeting and that President Peters be informed that the Athletic Board supports the concerns outlined in the report.  Dick Dowen seconded the motion.

Paul Bauer expressed his agreement with George’s comments that the board does not have the expertise to make specific recommendations about the track itself.  George then said as an amendment to Debbie’s second motion regarding the track, he would add “….and direct the Athletics administration to begin planning for the renovation of these items.”  Normally we would expect the staff to accomplish these initiatives.  Ray Tourville said the Board is not just expressing its concern but it would like something to be done.

The Board wants to convey its sense that gender equity is important and we want the university to continue to take steps to maintain gender equity and specifically to address these two issues.  After further discussion, the three original motions were amended and combined into one single motion to read:  “The Athletic Board supports the Gender Equity report.  With specific attention to two concerns:  1) that the University address the need to address outdoor track facility concerns and 2) strongly recommend that Athletics, Physical Education, and Campus Recreation continue to dialogue. A copy of this report should be forwarded to President Peters.”  Having no further discussion, the motion was carried.

C.    Scheduling

Dee Abrahamson said the committee is in the process of getting actual days missed, classes missed, and days away information.  They will compare those numbers to last year’s numbers.  Any concerns will be brought forth by the committee.

Nolan Davis asked about scheduling within the MAC and when next year’s schedules will be released.  Dee said some progress is being made.  Robert Collins added that progress is being made on the basketball schedules however, the issue rests with television for both basketball and football.  Nolan said for use of the convocation center, lack of schedules or late release of schedules can certainly cause lots of problems.  Ray Tourville added that this affects not only Athletics or student groups who want to use the convocation center but also outside groups.  Dee and Robert said the MAC is working to address this issue.

D.    Student Welfare

No report.

E.    PR Committee

No report.

Dee Abrahamson presented information regarding Title IX to use as reference in case Board members are asked questions relating to it.

IV.    New Business

A.    Timeline for presentation and approval of FY03 budget

Ray Tourville pointed out that with summer approaching and the FY03 budget not yet having been presented or acted upon, it is necessary that the Board meet in June.  There is an executive committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 5.  The full Board is scheduled to meet on June 19 but consensus was that the 19th is not good on everyone’s calendar.  It was agreed that the budget information will be presented to the Board on June 12 and acted upon on June 26.  Further it was agreed that if the FY03 budget is the only item on the agenda, the Board can e-mail its vote on the budget rather than having a formal meeting on June 26.

V.    Adjournment

Brian Scholle made a motion to adjourn.  Paul Bauer seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.