Present: Gip Seaver, Nestor Osorio, Paul Bauer, Ron Short, Harry Wright, Ray Dembinski, Cary Groth, John Walton, Robert Wheeler, Marcia Dick, Ray Tourville, Nolan Davis, Joe True.
Guest: Sheila Berg, Athletics Business Manager
I. Call to Order Ė Gip Seaver
II. Approval of March 19, 2003 Meeting Minutes
Paul Bauer made a motion to approve the March 19, 2003, meeting minutes. Robert Wheeler seconded the motion.
Having no corrections or additions, the motion was carried unanimously.
III. Committee Reports
Will be addressed under Old Business.
B. Student Welfare
C. Gender Equity
Will be addressed under Old Business.
D. Faculty Athletics Representative
Ray Dembinski reported that the management council of the NCAA has approved
a motion to increase the core course requirement from 14 to 16.
This legislation would take effect in 2008. That will present another issue to deal with.
Cary Groth reported that she, Ray Dembinski, Bobbie Cesarek, and Sandy
Hafner-Arnold met with President Peters yesterday to discuss issues and
concerns relative to the 40/60/80% rule. In addition to meeting with the president, they have also met with the advising deans and the council of deans
to present this information. Athletics is sharing the information little by little and discussing how to address this when the student-athletes arrive in
August whom this rule will affect.
E. Huskie Club
Cary reported that the spring football game is Thursday evening.
Top major gift prospects have been invited to attend and approximately
stated they would attend. Cary is anxious to share with them some of the initial drawings of the Student-Athlete Development Center which will be
built in the north endzone at the Stadium. At the May Board meeting, Cary would like to bring those drawings to share with the Board.
Cary added that the donations to the Huskie Club have increased approximately 20%.
IV. Old Business
A. Second Quarterly Report
Ray Dembinski made a motion to approve the second quarterly report.
Nolan Davis seconded the motion. Gip asked if there were any questions
from the Board regarding this report.
Cary said the increase in football gate will be going to purchase a new
state-of-the-art ticketing system. She hopes that will address the
Athletics experienced this past football season. It has been a major concern the last two years. The bid is currently out on the system.
Gip said at last monthís meeting, mention was made of a ticket surcharge.
Cary said in discussion with President Peters and Dr. Eddie Williams, they
did not think it would be a good idea to have the $1 surcharge across the board but for tickets purchased at the windows only. Dr. Wheeler said
when ordering tickets via the internet, Ticketmaster also charges a handling fee. Cary said it will cost people for the convenience of ordering online
but hopes it will get people to purchase season tickets. It will take time to get this in place but it will help.
Sheila Berg added that if people print out the ticket order form online
and want to purchase a ticket for the Maryland game, the cost for the ticket
$15.00 plus a $4.00 surcharge. If you were to order through Ticketmaster online and want to pick up the ticket Will Call, there is only a 50 cent
surcharge. Gip pointed out that the convenience is great for people living outside DeKalb.
Having no further discussion, the motion was carried. Gip asked Sheila
if the FY04 budget will be presented at the May 7 Board meeting.
that she is planning to do that along with the third quarterly report. Gip added that the Board should plan to meet on June 18.
B. Spring Cleaning
1. March 20, 2002 meeting minutes
Gip clarified that the auditors found that these minutes had not been approved thus requiring us to do so today.
Harry Wright made a motion to approve the March 20, 2003 meeting minutes.
Ray Dembinski seconded the motion. Having no additions or
corrections, the motion was carried.
2. FY03 schedules
Gip clarified that the schedules as presented have not been approved by
the Board. He is looking for guidance as to how the Board would like
to proceed with schedules. His recommendation for next year is that the executive committee and the incoming chair develop a better way to
deal with schedules. In the past, they came to the board every meeting. It is a responsibility of the board to approve schedules, shown both in
the NIU bylaws and the NCAA constitution, as well.
Gip then asked if the Board members want more time to review the schedules or does the Board want to vote on these today?
Nolan Davis made a motion to approve the FY03 schedules as presented. Nestor Osorio seconded the motion.
Gip then opened the floor to comments or suggestions. Cary said the
only way to better deal with these is if the MAC were to do a better job
getting the schedules out in a timely manner.
Ray Dembinski pointed out that the Boardís policy was developed initially
to address days away, classes missed, and competition during finals.
In the last several years, coaches have been sensitive to not scheduling non-conference events during finals week and Athletics has done a fairly
good job keeping track of missed classes. The system has built-in safety checks through the Athletic Department. Cosmetic changes for
television or game time changes or raindates donít need to be micromanaged.
Paul Bauer said probably the Board or executive committee of the Board
and the athletics director could review schedules the approve them.
Once a year, the entire Board could review schedules. It is not practical to review these every month. To address them in that way would be a
safeguard. Cary said swimming was always an issue because of their season and the number of days away and classes missed. With swimming
not being offered anymore eliminates that issue.
Gip said at the next executive committee meeting they could come up with
guidelines and streamlined procedures with an ďauditĒ at the end of the
year for the full Board. He added that the Board may want to look more closely at football and menís and womenís basketball but that way, the
policies are in place.
Having no further discussion, the motion was carried unanimously.
C. Needs Assessment Update
Paul Bauer reported that the gender equity committee completed the first
step of this assessment in January, thanks to help from some of the Board
members and the Athletics Department. There was a problem with the way the survey was printed but that was taken care of by coloring in the
bubbles half again to the left of each one. Through Ray Tourville, Paul located Greg Barker who fed the data into the program and an analysis was
printed out. It is very user-friendly information and can be sorted in a number of different ways. Now the data need to be analyzed by the
appropriate people. Paul will consult with Dee as to how to move forward. Cary said Dee can provide background of what really needs to be
looked at. The committeeís involvement and support are helpful.
Paul is not sure there will be anything to report at the May meeting but
perhaps the first meeting in the fall. Cary added that the most important
was that the survey was administered.
D. Athletic Board structure and function
Gip began by saying information had been provided a while ago for Board
members to review relating to athletics boards. He compiled information
received from a number of different athletics programs in the Mid-American conference and others relative to their structure and what they deal with.
We would not be able to effect changes this year because any proposals would need to go through University Council and the appropriate
subcommittees. As the information is reviewed, Gip said he is looking for a direction to go with the Board. The information presented seems to
indicate that this Board is very similar to our peer institutions. Paul Bauer asked what might be gained through changing the structure. Gip said
attendance might be an area that could see change. If the Board were larger, it would be easier to maintain quorum. When the Board was
downsized, the feeling is that there are more times we are not reaching quorum. That is particularly problematic at the end of the academic year.
Also, committee work is easier with a larger group.
Ray Dembinski said attendance is a combination of structure but also of
function. Looking back over the years, in the last several, we have
substantive issues to address as a Board. When conference affiliation and sports sponsorship were past issues, a task force was developed and
public hearings were held. Now that there is stability relating to our conference affiliation, there hasnít been the crush of issues that there have been in
the past. As we move to adjust what the Board does relative to scheduling, that comes off the monthly agenda. Gip suggested that Board members
look more at the focus of the Board. He wonders that as a function, the Board might look at the frequency with which it meets as a way to address
attendance. More substantive items might appeal to the Board members, as well. Paul Bauer would argue against increasing the size of the Board.
Ray Dembinski suggested looking at the Student Association attendance.
Several years ago, student participation on the Board was better; it has
declined over the last three or four years. Cary said the Student Association has been in turmoil until this year. There doesnít seem to be a
substantive issue in Athletics that they think needs to be addressed.
Nolan Davis agrees with the function of the Board but should perhaps it
should figure out what major issues it should do to help Athletics over
ten years. We should identify four or five things that the Board should be working on and agree on them and then see if the structure fits those items.
Nolan added that if increasing student involvement in Athletics, there is no representation on the Board by Student Affairs. Perhaps Michael Coakley
or someone he designates could sit on Athletic Board.
Harry Wright asked if this Board is proactive or reactive because it seems
to be reactive. Taking todayís meeting as an example, the Board has
one much of substance. We should look at being proactive to get moving forward. Cary said Athletics is currently negotiating a new television
contract. The Board has not been involved in this type of discussion before but it might get the Board mobilized if Athletics was to do so.
Gip said he has spent sometime over the last year identifying some areas
where the Board could be involved. He agrees with Harry that this
should be proactive. Items such as dealing with the budget, ticket prices and complimentary ticket policies have already been identified as those which
can be handled by subcommittees.
The suggestion was made to put together a task force and for thirty days,
review the Boardís function and then make a presentation of findings to
Board. Gip said the Board could take the next couple of meetings to look at what the Board would like to do and what it would like to get involved
with and where the Board could be helpful. That would help address what type of committee structure is appropriate. Gip is still convinced the
Board should meet quarterly, do most of the work by committee and bring things forward for Board approval. That way the Board would not have to
meet every month.
Ray Dembinski said to follow up on what Cary said, getting the Board involved
in contractual talks about television or conference membership would
be areas of interest. Ray Tourville added that he recently spoke to former president Monat and he said at times, we have to recognize that in the
process of some discussions, there are some sensitive moments and it is necessary to act quickly or privately. You donít want to encumber yourself in
a committee meeting. It is a dilemma for an advisory board and an area where advisory boards get frustrated. Gip said you have to empower people
to make the decisions but parameters need to be established. You need to make decisions but you also need background information.
Nolan Davis totally opposes micromanagement but the Board needs to learn
more about Athletics and the things they do. He gets input from
individuals suggesting Athletics should be doing certain things but, as a Board members, he doesnít know 100% of what Athletics does. For a new
Board member, it is necessary to have some background information. They could talk to coaches and athletics administrators about what they do and
how they do it.
John Walton said the Law School has formed an advisory board (the Board
of Visitors) which meets once per year. They only meet once per year
because the Law School spends time looking at where it is going and what it is doing and how the Board of Visitors can be involved. Athletics
probably gets its own legal advice elsewhere. John believes that issues do come up and when talking about eligibility, there are legal implications in
those programs that may get tested and the question comes up as to whether they would withstand some legal scrutiny. Ray Tourville added that
before former University Legal Counsel, George Shur retired, he always attended the Athletic Board meetings. Cary said legal counsel works with
Athletics in many different areas. Ray went on to ask if legal counsel will return to the Board. There is no definite answer at this time.
Gip then asked Janaan to provide copies of the quarterly meeting schedule
to the Board members for the next meeting. He also asked Cary to
provide copies of Athleticsí three-year plan and also to discuss resources and assistance the Board can bring to the plan. We should also discuss
what the function of the Board should be and whether the Board should be advisory as well as regulatory. We can start the discussion with those
items and where to recommend the Board go next year. Should it go to quarterly meetings? There are some things the Board would really like to
work on next year. The Board always seems to have trouble developing momentum in the fall. Ray Tourville also said if Cary would bring in some
contracts, that would be helpful. We might well go back to what the executive committee originally of proposed having the full meetings designated as
regulatory and the other functions as advisory.
V. New Business
A. Budget Update
Gip asked Cary if there is any additional information for the Board relative
to the budget. She reported that it was a good year for football
Part of that income will help in addressing the deficit. Athletics did not spend all of the swimming scholarship monies and that will also go toward the
deficit which it is on the way toward balancing.
Athletics has had to take cuts, as everyone else has. The SASS (Student-Athlete
Support Services) unit, compliance, and athletic training have taken
cuts. Athletics has off-loaded some things to development and the NCAA broad-based pool monies. All professional travel has been frozen since
February or March.
Ray Tourville said though things in Athletics look good, he is concerned
with the Governorís concept of asking for more money from out-of-state
students. Paul Bauer said the Governor referred to it as ďsubsidizing out-of-state students.Ē Nolan Davis said the governor has adopted as his
personal beliefs the publicís beliefs and he is acting on them. What we can do is try to get an exception for out-of-state student-athletes. Cary said
Athletics had such an exception until six or seven years ago but it might be possible to get it re-enacted. Sheila Berg asked if it could be such that it
would apply to any university scholarship and if it were university awarded the out-of-state could be waived. Cary stated that Kathy Buettner is
working on this.
Robert Wheeler said there is also another proposal out. The Board
of Higher Education has appointed a committee on Portability and Accessibility
which has as its focus looking at 50% of all undergraduate tuition waivers being need-based. It might be a potential impact on Athletics as well as a
number of other programs. Cary said Anne Kaplan sent her that information. In looking at need-based aid, the PELL recipient is the main focus.
The challenge is that not all who are eligible apply for the PELL. Athletics is trying to determine how many student-athletes would be need-based
participants. Paul Bauer suggested making recommendations and if nothing comes of them, what would be the soonest this would be implemented.
Dr. Wheeler said it would not become effective for next academic year but possibly for the following year.
Cary reported that Steve Simmons has been hired as head menís soccer coach.
He comes to NIU from Oregon State University. He is
Asian-American which makes the Athletics Department the most diverse athletics administration and head coaching program in the country. Steve is
outstanding and the Athletic Department is very excited about his hire. He begins on April 21.
Cary also reported that the Athletics Department has experienced great
success this past year. Football and menís basketball led the way.
and womenís tennis are having a good spring season. Baseball has defeated Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa this year and are fighting for second place in
the west division. Softball is second in the division. Track and Field continues to set personal bests. Gip asked if there is anything in the future
relative to an outdoor track. Cary said discussion is ongoing. With the state of the economy and budget, it will be tough. Athletics is looking into the
gifting of the track and it may not be a top 100 track but it would be a training track. Robert Collins and Shantel Twiggs, the head track and
field/cross country coach, are working on things. Gip asked where they are training now. Cary said it is a combination of using the grass fields,
DeKalb and Sycamore high schools, sometimes Kaneland High School, and indoors at the Convocation Center. The challenge at the Convocation
Center is that because of the events there, the seats are pulled out much more than Athletics had anticipated but work is being done there as well.
Harry Wright made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Nolan Davis seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
The next meeting of the Athletic Board is Wednesday, May 7, 2003,
at 1:00 p.m. in Holmes Student Center Room #406. The executive committee
will meet on Wednesday, April 30, at 1:00 p.m. in the athletics administration
conference room in the Convocation Center.