Presidential Statement on Policy and Self-Regulating Guidelines

Northern Illinois University (NIU):

  • is a comprehensive public institution committed to excellence in its service to students and the people of Illinois.
  • has as its primary mission the transmission, expansion, and application of knowledge through the teaching, research, scholarship and public service of its faculty.
  • offers 54 undergraduate majors, 70 graduate majors and the juris doctorate to students enrolled in one of its seven degree-granting colleges.
  • is committed to the belief that the  total learning experience includes both academic and  nonacademic activities;  therefore, NIU offers students opportunities for meaningful campus experiences through a wide range of social, residential, recreational, and athletic programs. Complementing their academic programs, these opportunities assist students in the development of skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Intercollegiate Athletics at NIU:

  • Intercollegiate athletics is an important part of the university’s student-life program, and the university is committed to equity between men’s and women’s athletic programs.
  • 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. 
  • An integral part of the university, intercollegiate athletics contributes to student development in several ways:

a.) for student-athletes, athletic 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 athletic accomplishments
  • promotes the values of leadership, teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship

b.) for non-athletes, intercollegiate athletics contributes to the student life program as a social activity and as one focus of institutional identity.
c.) athletic programs promote recognition of the institution and can be a source of pride for the university’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Guiding Principles of Intercollegiate Athletics      

  • Academically, the university’s goal is to ensure that each athlete completes an academic program and earns an undergraduate degree. Counseling and support services are available to assist student-athletes in their pursuit of that goal.
  • To promote athletic success and the physical welfare of student-athletes, the university provides high quality coaching and the equipment, facilities, and medical care needed to compete on an equal basis with other student-athletes from comparable NCAA institutions.

Commitment to Rules Compliance:
The commitment of the university to a strong athletic program requires strict adherence to all of the governing policies, procedures, and regulations of the NCAA as well as those of the institution. At NIU, the Athletic Board, reporting directly to the president, has assumed responsibility for directing the policies through which intercollegiate athletics functions as a university activity. The president, along with the Associate Vice-President/Director of Athletics, is responsible for ensuring strict compliance with NCAA regulations, Mid-American Conference regulations, as well as its own internal policies, all of which comply with NCAA policies.

Notification of institutional Philosophy
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. At the start of each academic year, copies of the Presidential Statement on Athletic Policy and Self-regulating Guidelines will be distributed to the Board of Trustees, the Athletic Board, athletic department personnel, enrolled student-athletes and members of the Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund.

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.

The President has the authority to make policies and 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.

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 athletic personnel are required to abide by the laws and policies of the State of Illinois, the Board of Trustees, and Northern Illinois University, in addition to those of the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference. The University prohibits the employment of individuals officially penalized by the NCAA.
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.

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 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 Auditor 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 athletic philosophy 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.

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 of any changes that impact upon the institution’s athletic philosophy. To ensure that the athletic philosophy of the institution and the NCAA are in harmony, the Associate Vice-President/ Director of Athletics and the Athletic Board will review this document each year and make recommendations for necessary changes to the President.

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 will 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 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.

Athletic Board
Members of the campus community are involved in the Intercollegiate Athletics program in an advisory capacity through the Athletic Board. A majority of the voting members of the Athletic Board are faculty. The remaining members of the Board will represent administrators, students, athletes, staff, alumni, and the community. As appropriate, the President will inform the University Council of policies and practices related to the intercollegiate athletics program.

The Athletic Board is directly responsible to the President for developing the policies through which the intercollegiate athletics program functions as a University activity. The Board is responsible for approving sport team operating budgets, prior to submission to the President, and for approving intercollegiate athletics schedules. The Board also assumes responsibility for matters related to student-athletes, including but not limited to, support for academics, student-athlete well-being 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 Athletic Financial Aid
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 concerns.

More specific guidelines regarding the operations of the athletic program are contained in the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
John G. Peters
October 2007

Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity institution and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, or status as a disabled of Vietnam-era veteran. 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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