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Northern Illinois University will undertake a campus-wide effort to study its athletic program as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics certification program in 2008-09.

The purpose of NCAA certification is to help ensure the integrity of an institution's athletics operations. The 18-month process begins with a self-study conducted by the university that specifically looks at the athletic department's academic integrity, governance and commitment to rules compliance, and gender, diversity and student-athlete well-being.

The NCAA certification program is structured to achieve its goal in several ways:

  • By opening the affairs of athletics to the university community and the public;
  • By setting standards (called operating principles) for the operation of Division I athletics programs;
  • By putting tough sanctions in place for institutions that fail to conduct a comprehensive self-study or to correct problems.

Northern Illinois' athletic program went through the certification process approximately 10 years ago and part of this year's study will involve looking back at the institution's response to findings that came out of that exercise. Through the re-certification effort, Northern Illinois will also look to demonstrate continued institutional commitment to and compliance with the operating principles of the NCAA and define plans for the continual improvement of the NIU athletics program.

Your participation and input into this process are welcome and encouraged. The NIU Plan for Self Study can be reviewed by clicking the "About Recertification" link. Committee schedules are provided on this website and all meetings are open to the public. In addition, you may provide feedback by clicking on "Participation/Feedback" on this webpage.

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