Athletic Committee FY2021

Athletic Committee FY2021


Athletic Committee


Standing Committees of the University Senate


This committee serves as the link between governance and athletics programs at KU, and works with athletic corporation to promote the educational experience of student athletes, to support compliance with NCAA requirements, and to address other issues of interest to faculty, students, and staff in relation to athletic programs at KU.

The Athletic Committee shall be composed of six faculty members serving staggered three-year terms beginning July 1, four student members, and three representatives from the staff appointed in accordance with the rules and regulations of their respective governance bodies. The NCAA Faculty Representative and the Associate Director of Athletics for Student Athletic Support Services will serve in an ex-officio capacity as non-voting members. The six faculty and four student members shall also simultaneously fill the terms of the specified faculty and student members of the Athletics Advisory Committee. The six faculty members shall be appointed by FacEx in accordance with Article VII, section 3 of the University Senate Code. Two student members shall be nominated by the Student Body President and confirmed by the Student Senate for two-year overlapping terms. One student member shall be elected by the Student Senate University Affairs Committee for a one-year term, and one student shall be appointed by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for a one-year term.


Chair: Susan Twombly, Education (2021)
Faculty: Derek Reed, ABS, (2021)
Faculty: Jordan Bass (2022)
Faculty: Jerry Crawford, Journalism (2022)
Faculty: Lisa Bergeron, Business (2023)
Faculty: Florence DiGennaro, ABSC (2023)
Staff: Heather Abernathy, Engineering Administration (2022)
Staff: Liz Phillips, Office Public Safety (2021)
Staff: Kelly Banks, Spencer Museum , (2023)
Student: Apramay Mishra  
Graduate Student: Maggie Mayer
Student: Student Senate University Affairs Committee: Drew Durham  
Student: Appointed by Student Athlete Advisory Committee:

Ex-Officio (non-voting):

Susan Stagg-Williams, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, Faculty Representative
Paul Buskirk, Assoc. AD, Student Athlete Support Services


Approved by SenEx: May 29, 2020
Approved by University Senate: September 10, 2020

Standing charges:

  1. To the extent possible the committee is encouraged to start each year with a joint meeting of the KAI Staff and the Athletic committee.
    1. KAI would outline the things that are on their agenda that the committee could work on to help KAI and student athletes. The Senate Athletic Committee could do the same.
    2. From this meeting, the agenda for the rest of the year could be built.
  2. Review KU and Kansas Athletics Inc. (KAI) efforts to promote and maintain academic excellence for the student athletes.
    1. Identify potential academic barriers and recommend mechanisms to overcome such barriers including collaboration with the student athlete academic support services.
    2. Review current-year data on missed class days due to competition and travel.
    3. Review the following KAI academic reports: Spring and Fall Student-Athlete Grade Summary, NCAA Academic Progress Rate Institutional Report, Graduation Rates and the KAI report on academic majors for student-athletes and non-athletes.
    4. Review the effects of university changes regarding core requirements, majors, minors, certificates or other curricular issues.
  1. Review KU and KAI efforts to provide a premier student athlete experience.
    1. Review programs designed to ensure the personal development and personal welfare of student athletes including: nutrition and physical health, mental health, and safety.
    2. Review reports from KAI exit-interviews and KAI survey questions regarding participation in the broader campus community.
    3. Review Student Athlete Advisory Committee programs and recommend opportunities to improve student athlete involvement in extracurricular campus and community activities.
  2. Help ensure KU maintains athletic compliance with University, Big XII and NCAA rules and Federal law.
    1. Review educational programs and communication strategies to ensure the KU community better understands the combined responsibility for compliance.
    2. Review and summarize KAI reports identifying athletic compliance parameters including but not limited to recruiting practices and university admissions.
    3. Review KU and KAI policies and procedures on drug testing, diversity and sexual harassment including Title IX compliance, and alcohol use in matters of sexual assault reporting.
  3. Help ensure KU meets its strategic goals pertaining to athletics.
    1. Recommend educational programs and communication strategies to enhance the balance between academics and athletics, as well as to promote a broad understanding of the goals and priorities of each. 
    2. Recommend mechanisms for improved communication between KAI coaches and staff and KU faculty, staff and students.
    3. Maintain regular communications with the NCAA/Big XII Faculty Representative, the Athletics Advisory Committee(AAC), KAI and University Governance to ensure the needs of each are being served.

    Specific charges:

    1. Consider the COVID-19 emergency response by KU and KAI, how it affected student-athletes, and make recommendations for future emergencies.
    2. Specific issues from this year’s meeting that merit follow up by next year’s committee:
      1. The number of and concentration of student-athletes in the BGS in LAS degree.
      2. The status of the proposed class absence policy.
      3. The mental health and general well-being status of student-athletes.
      4. Follow up of the proposed NCAA financial awards to conferences based on measures of academic performance. Perhaps Kansas Athletics will have more details about how this money will be spent and potential ramifications of such an “award.”