NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Presidential Statement on Policy and Self-Regulating Guidelines


Commitments to the Division I Collegiate Model

In addition to the purposes and fundamental policy of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, as set forth in Constitution 1, members of Division I support the following commitments in the belief that these commitments assist in defining the nature and purposes of the division. These commitments are not binding on member institutions, but serve as a guide for the preparation of legislation by the division and for planning and implementation of programs by institutions and conferences.

Northern Illinois University agrees to the following commitments to the Division I collegiate model;

The Commitment to Value-Based Legislation. Bylaws proposed and enacted by member institutions governing the conduct of intercollegiate athletics shall be designed to foster competition in amateur athletics, promote the Association's enduring values and advance the Collegiate Model as set forth in the NCAA Constitution. In some instances, a careful balancing of these values may be necessary to help achieve the purposes of the Association.

The Commitment to Amateurism. Member institutions shall conduct their athletics programs for students who choose to participate in intercollegiate athletics as a part of their educational experience and in accordance with NCAA bylaws, thus maintaining a line of demarcation between student-athletes who participate in the Collegiate Model and athletes competing in the professional model.

The Commitment to Fair Competition. Bylaws shall be designed to promote the opportunity for institutions and eligible student-athletes to engage in fair competition. This commitment requires that all member institutions compete within the framework of the Collegiate Model of athletics in which athletics competition is an integral part of the student-athlete's effort to acquire a degree in higher education. The commitment to fair competition acknowledges that variability will exist among members, including facilities, geographic locations and resources, and that such variability should not be justification for future legislation. Areas affecting fair competition include, but are not limited to, personnel, eligibility and amateurism, recruiting, financial aid, the length of playing and practice seasons and the number of institutional competitions per sport.

The Commitment to Integrity and Sportsmanship. It is the responsibility of each member institution to conduct its athletics programs and manage its staff members, representatives and student-athletes in a manner that promotes the ideals of higher education and the integrity of intercollegiate athletics. Member institutions are committed to encouraging behavior that advances the interests of the Association, its membership and the Collegiate Model of athletics. All individuals associated with intercollegiate athletics programs and events should adhere to such fundamental values as respect, fairness, civility, honesty, responsibility, academic integrity

and ethical conduct. These values should be manifest not only in athletics participation, but also in the broad spectrum of activities affecting the athletics programs.

The Commitment to Institutional Control and Compliance. It is the responsibility of each member institution to monitor and control its athletics programs, staff members, representatives and student-athletes to ensure compliance with the Constitution and bylaws of the Association. Responsibility for maintaining institutional control ultimately rests with the institution's campus president or chancellor. It is also the responsibility of each member institution to report all breaches of conduct established by these bylaws to the Association in a timely manner and cooperate with the Association's enforcement efforts. Upon a conclusion that one or more violations occurred, an institution shall be subject to such disciplinary and corrective actions as may be prescribed by the Association on behalf of the entire membership.

The Commitment to Student-Athlete Well-Being. Intercollegiate athletics programs shall be conducted in a manner designed to enhance the well-being of student-athletes who choose to participate and to prevent undue commercial or other influences that may interfere with their scholastic, athletics or related interests. The time required of student-athletes for participation in intercollegiate athletics shall be regulated to minimize interference with their academic pursuits. It is the responsibility of each member institution to establish and maintain an environment in which student-athletes' activities, in all sports, are conducted to encourage academic

success and individual development and as an integral part of the educational experience. Each member institution should also provide an environment that fosters fairness, sportsmanship, safety, honesty and positive relationships between student-athletes and representatives of the institution.

The Commitment to Sound Academic Standards. Standards of the Association governing participation in intercollegiate athletics, including postseason competition, shall be designed to ensure proper emphasis on educational objectives and the opportunity for academic success, including graduation, of student-athletes who choose to participate at a member institution. Intercollegiate athletics programs shall be maintained as an important component of the educational program, and student-athletes shall be an integral part of the student body. Each member institution's admission and academic standards for student-athletes shall be designed to promote academic progress and graduation and shall be consistent with the standards adopted by the institution for the student body in general.

The Commitment to Responsible Recruiting Standards. Recruiting bylaws shall be designed to promote informed decisions and balance the interests of prospective student-athletes, their educational institutions, the Association's member institutions and intercollegiate athletics as a whole. This commitment includes minimizing the role of external influences on prospective student-athletes and their families and preventing excessive contact or pressure in the recruitment process.

The Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion. The Division I membership believes in and is committed to the core values of diversity, inclusion and equity, because realization of those values improves the learning environment for all student-athletes and enhances excellence within the membership and in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. The membership shall create diverse and inclusive environments, promote an atmosphere of respect for and sensitivity to the dignity of every person, and include diverse perspectives in the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. Member institutions, with assistance from the national office, are expected to develop inclusive practices that foster positive learning and competitive environments for student-athletes, as well as professional development and opportunities for athletics administrators, coaches and staff from diverse backgrounds.

INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

AT

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Intercollegiate Athletics at NIU:

  • As a university activity, intercollegiate athletics operates within the university governance structure and adheres to the principles of fair play and amateur athletics defined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Intercollegiate athletics supports the academic mission of the university by requiring each student-athlete to strive for excellence in the classroom as well as on the athletic field or court, and in life.
  • Is an integral part of the university, and as such, intercollegiate athletics contributes to student development in several ways:
    • For student-athletes, athletics participation provides a means to achieve academic goals while competing in their chosen sports. Participation in athletics:
      • Encourages the development of the discipline and dedication to excellence that lead to athletics accomplishments
      • Promotes the values of leadership, teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship
    • For non-athletes, intercollegiate athletics contributes to the student life program as a social activity and as one focus of institutional identity.
    • Athletics programs promote recognition of the institution and can be a source of pride for the university's students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community.

  • Is committed to gender equity and compliance with Title IX.

PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT NOTIFICATION

To promote broad understanding of the athletic philosophy, the university informs its constituents of its commitment to the principles of fair play and amateur athletic competition, as defined by NCAA regulations. Annually an updated version of this statement is distributed to the Board of the Trustees, and is made available online on Athletics' website.

AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT

The president is responsible for the direction of the intercollegiate athletic program and has the authority to delegate those responsibilities as provided under the Board of Trustees Regulations, Article III, Section 2 (General Administration). Specific areas of authority and responsibility are described below.

Policy

The president has the authority to make policies, establish standards, and to monitor institutional compliance with NCAA regulations. The responsibility for these areas is delegated to the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics. The president (or his designee) will meet regularly with the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics to review policies and practices of the intercollegiate athletics program.

Personnel

The president has the authority to provide an appropriate organizational structure and an appropriate delegation of responsibility for fulfilling the mission of Intercollegiate Athletics. The president delegates the authority to hire and supervise athletics personnel and to set standards of conduct to the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics. All athletics personnel are required to abide by the laws and policies of the State of Illinois, the Board of Trustees, Northern Illinois University, the NCAA and the MAC. The University prohibits the employment of individuals designated with a “show cause” order by the NCAA without review and justification by the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics.

The performance of personnel in Intercollegiate Athletics will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics. As a senior administrative officer, the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics will be comprehensively reviewed by the president or his designee at intervals of no more than five years.


Fiscal

The president has the final authority for the management of the finances for the Intercollegiate Athletics program. The Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations is delegated the responsibility of working with the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics in developing the budget. The Athletic Board will receive and approve an operational budget, based in part on student fee income, for the intercollegiate athletics program. Following Athletic Board approval, the president approves and will monitor the Intercollegiate Athletics budget with the assistance of the Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations.

The Intercollegiate Athletics program will follow established accounting procedures and the internal audit department will review the program periodically, as required by policies and regulations, and as directed by the president. All institutional funds for the Intercollegiate Athletics program will be maintained in university accounts subject to institutional control and audit. The use of supplemental funds from other than regular sources to support intercollegiate activities is permitted within the above fiscal monitoring requirements.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PRESIDENT

The president periodically reaffirms the institution's commitment to its intercollegiate athletics program and to the NCAA principles of fair play and amateur athletics. The president is an active participant in determining the institution's relationship with the NCAA, including its position on issues to be voted upon by the NCAA Board of Directors.

Review

The Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics is charged with the responsibility of monitoring the published statement of the NCAA membership division and alerting the president to any changes that may impact the institution's intercollegiate athletics program. To ensure that the intercollegiate athletics program of the institution and the NCAA are in harmony, the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics and the Athletic Board will review this statement each year and make recommendations to the president for necessary changes.

FACULTY ATHLETICS REPRESENTATIVE

The NCAA requires the appointment of a Faculty Athletics Representative. The president will appoint a member of the faculty or the academic administration to this position and provide the administrative support necessary to permit active involvement. The Faculty Athletics Representative is the institutional link between the classroom and the playing field and represents the faculty's interest in the university's conduct of its intercollegiate athletics program. The day-to-day responsibilities of the Faculty Athletics Representative require both leadership and service. As a leader, the representative must demonstrate the faculty's belief that the intellectual development of students is the primary mission of an institution of higher education and that the value of the extracurricular activities, athletics included, should be measured by their contribution to that mission.

Furthermore, the Faculty Athletics Representative must reflect the faculty's belief that each student-athlete should hold as his or her highest priority the achievement of a baccalaureate degree and that each institution should hold as its highest priority the protection of academic integrity.

Additionally, the NCAA requires, through the Commitment to Institutional Control and Compliance and NCAA Bylaw 13.6.1 that the institution's campus president have ultimate responsibility for the development of any and all compliance procedures and policies, including but not limited to the appointment of the Faculty Athletics Representative and the establishment of a Campus Compliance Committee, in order to promote an environment of NCAA compliance.

ATHLETIC BOARD

The Athletic Board is a standing committee of the University Council and is advisory to the president. A majority of the voting members of the Athletic Board must be faculty. The remaining members of the Board will represent administrators, students, student-athletes, staff, alumni, and the community. Members of the campus community are involved in the intercollegiate athletics program in an advisory capacity through the Athletic Board.

The Athletic Board is directly responsible to the president for developing the policies through which the intercollegiate athletics program functions as a University activity including operating budgets and team schedules. The Board also assumes responsibility for matters related to student-athletes, including but not limited to, support for academics, student-athlete wellbeing, and equity and diversity. More specific information about the composition, duties, and guidelines of the Athletic Board are contained in the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Athletic Board.

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

Financial aid for student-athletes is administered by the Student Financial Aid Office. All regular policies and procedures of the university's financial aid program will be followed in the issuance of athletically-related financial aid.

UNIVERSITY SERVICES

All regular institutional services for students are available to student-athletes to assist them in their academic and personal development.

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More specific guidelines regarding the operations of the athletics program are contained in the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Douglas D. Baker
President
2014 - 2015

Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity institution and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and in compliance with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations, and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. The Constitution and Bylaws of Northern Illinois University afford equal treatment regardless of political views or affiliation, and sexual orientation, NIU recognizes dual career issues.

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