November 9, 2007
Stanford University to undertake self-study of athletics program
President John L. Hennessy announced today that Stanford University has begun a year-long, campus-wide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program. Specific areas the study will cover are academic integrity, governance and commitment to rules compliance, as well as the institution's commitment to equity and student-athlete well-being.
While academic accreditation is common in colleges and universities, this program focuses solely on certification of athletics programs. Following a pilot project, the Division I membership overwhelmingly supported the program and its standards at the 1993 NCAA Convention. Stanford completed its first certification self-study in 1998. NCAA Division I schools are required to undertake athletics certification every 10 years. A five-year interim-status report is also required. The current self-study will be the second in the certification process for Stanford.
"Our student-athletes face an enormous challenge in balancing scholarly and athletic demands," Hennessy said. "We embrace the opportunity afforded by the NCAA recertification process to ensure that the university is doing all it can to support these remarkable young people as they continue to achieve at the highest levels, both in the classroom and on the courts and playing fields."
The certification program's purpose is to help ensure integrity in the institution's athletics operations. Self-study confirms the strengths of the athletics program and develops plans for improvement if concerns are identified in particular areas.
The committee responsible for the study will include Hennessy, and its steering committee will be chaired by LaDoris Cordell, special counselor to the president for campus relations. The committee will include faculty, students and staff as well as athletics department personnel.
Within each area to be studied by the committee, operating principles established by the NCAA will be used to ensure consistency in the way all Division I members are evaluated. Stanford's self-evaluation report is due to the NCAA by May 1, 2008. The NCAA reviews the self-study and a peer review team visits campus later in the year. The NCAA makes a final decision on recertification early in 2009.