NCAA Certifies UNLV
Feb. 22, 2001
LAS VEGAS -
The NCAA announced Thursday that UNLV has successfully completed the organization's certification process, which means the institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.
"The Department of Athletics was found to be in substantial conformity with all aspects of the self-study by demonstrating that the activities of the programs are consistent with the university's mission and purpose," UNLV President Dr. Carol C. Harter said. "We cannot be more pleased with the committee's ruling on our status as a member of the NCAA."
There are 304 colleges and universities that have completed the certification process. Adopted as a key part of the NCAA's reform agenda in 1993, the program's purpose is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics operations and to assist departments in improving their programs.
Certification examined UNLV athletics' governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic and fiscal integrity and commitment to equity. Self-study committees analyzed these four key areas on campus and submitted a report. A peer group of administrators from other NCAA schools then visited campus and interviewed various personnel. That group then reported back to the NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification, which rendered the final decision.
Dr. Myrlene LaMancusa, UNLV Associate Professor of Nursing as well as the school's Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA, chaired the certification process.
"I would like to thank everyone that was involved over the years." LaMancusa said. "It is a pleasure to have such a successful ending to what was a long and beneficial process."
In order to complete the self-study report, the athletics department organized 48 people from outside the department into four separate committees, which evaluated and determined the school's compliance with NCAA principles as well as the mission of the university. In addition, a campus forum was held in 1998 and a NCAA Peer Review Team consisting of five university presidents visited campus later that same year.
Following are synopses of the four sub-committee reports:
GOVERNANCE & RULES COMPLIANCE
During three years of this study (1994-97), UNLV underwent significant administrative changes, as well as academic reorganization, which resulted in improved athletics operations and enhanced compliance functions. These changes included the Board of Regents' hiring of Dr. Carol C. Harter as president in 1995, Harter's hiring of Charles Cavagnaro as Director of Athletics and that position's addition to the president's senior cabinet, as well as the development of a clearly defined mission statement.
The organization and structure of NCAA Academic Services underwent significant restructuring that resulted in a reporting relationship to the Faculty Athletics Representative. Also noted were the facts that UNLV does not have a separate process for admission to the university for student-athletes, the school's Admission Committee does not include personnel from the athletics department and the academic preparation of student-athletes mirrors that of the general freshman student population.
Several major changes in organization both within the athletics department and on campus led the self-study committee to find that UNLV's policies follow prudent management and fiscal practices. These changes included the entrance into the new Mountain West Conference with its potential to generate substantial additional revenues while reducing travel expenses, the increased involvement of head coaches and other employees in the budget process, and the acquisition of funds from the Nevada Legislature on a biennial basis for gender equity issues.
COMMITMENT TO EQUITY
UNLV is in substantial conformity with the NCAA Operating Principle on Gender Issues, Minority Issues and Student-Athlete Welfare. The UNLV strategic plan and the Intercollegiate Athletics' Statement of Philosophy set goals to create a just and inclusive campus climate and to become more student focused. This plan included the creation of the Gender Equity Task Force and the Office of Diversity Initiatives as well as the addition of a women's volleyball and a women's soccer program.