President Glassner on Lewis & Clark’s commitment to varsity athletics
September 26, 2012
Dear Members of the Lewis & Clark Community,
As fall semester gets underway, I would like to share some important information about Lewis & Clark’s commitment to maintaining a strong varsity athletics program that benefits our students, supports our educational mission, and provides our campus with great opportunities to come together as a community.
Since 1997, the college has been a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III. The mission and values of Division III are supportive of our commitment to offer a well-rounded collegiate experience that provides students with a balance of rigorous academics, competitive athletics, and participation in cocurricular and extracurricular campus activities. In contrast to Division I institutions, at which typically only a tiny fraction of students participate in varsity athletics (on average, 4 percent), Division III schools have high rates of participation in sports (on average, 20 percent) and athletics is well-integrated within campus life.
Two years ago the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a vision for athletics at Lewis & Clark that underscores our commitment to the values of Division III athletics. A major outcome from implementing that vision was the formation of an Athletics Advisory Board in fall 2011 “for advising or establishing athletics policies and making policy decisions” that fulfill the Division III philosophy (Article 6.1.2). The AAB model has been adopted by many of the Division III schools most noted for successfully upholding their academics-oriented philosophy while maintaining strong athletic programs. They include Amherst, Bates, Colorado College, Grinnell, Macalester, Whitman, and Williams, and we are pleased to have joined their ranks.
More importantly, in its first year of existence, the AAB has set us on a path toward realizing more fully the ideals and values of the Division III philosophy, and with greater impact on the campus-wide community than ever before. In keeping with the Division III constitution and bylaws, the majority of advisory board members are faculty members and administrators who work with student athletes, alumni, and governing board members (Article 126.96.36.199).
The current membership includes CAS professors Naiomi Cameron, Keith Dede, and Rob Kugler (chair); law school professor Dan Mensher; Dean for Enrollment and Communications Lisa Meyer; Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez; Women’s Basketball Coach Juli Fulks; Student Athletics Advisory Council members Matt DeRose and Megan Andre; and Board of Trustees members Jon Jaqua and Ron Ragen. Serving ex officio on the advisory board are Provost Jane Atkinson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Hal Abrams, and Director of Institutional Research Mark Figueroa.
As the college launches a strategic plan in the coming year, NCAA Division III athletics and the work of the AAB in matching our practice and philosophy to the division’s values and ideals will take a significant role.
Lastly, I thank again those of you who support our student-athletes by attending their games. I learn game-by-game, match-by-match how much this support means to our students, and I have a great time doing so. So please review the calendar of events on the Athletics webpage (www.lcpioneers.com) for schedules, and come to one–or all–of the competitions scheduled.