July 22, 2003
Members Present: Andy Lopez, Kevin Ely,
Bryan Herrmann, Arne Kildegaard, LeAnn Dean, Ferolyn Angell, Ken Hodgson,
Sara Kloek, Mike Sullivan
Sam Schuman, Jim VanAlstine, Tracey Anderson, Jim Mootz, Mark Fohl, Matt
(In these minutes: Update on Social Science
Renovation, District Facilities, Proposal for reducing expenditures in
Athletics, and Restructuring in Student Affairs)
The meeting began with a round of introductions. Lopez reported on the following from Lowell Rasmussen.
Update on the Social Science Renovation
Eleven firms have responded to the architect selection board. The board will narrow the field to three firms on July 22. Those firms will be interviewed on August 5 and the University will be given a choice of one or two firms. Shortly after August 5 we should know the firm that will be working with us. Chancellor Schuman has asked the following to serve on the renovation committee: Greg Thorson, Kevin Ely, Leslie Meek, Jeff Ratliff-Crain, Joan Reicosky, Jeri Mullin, Pareena Lawrence, Kate Ellis, Fritz Schwaller, Dave Aronson, and Lowell Rasmussen.
Joint football field - the high school architect is doing the predesign
for the football field. The concept and costs should be ready for
review by CRPC by September.
Biomass Plant - an engineering firm is being selected this week to do predesign and process detail this week. This information should be ready for CRPC review in September.
Residence Hall Sprinkler project - work in Pine, Spooner, and Gay Hall has been funded and will be awarded next spring for work through next summer.
Intercollegiate Athletics at UMM
Schuman began by saying that one of the suggestions from the Budget Task Force was to look at the issue of sport sponsorship participation in athletics. Olson-Loy reported that a number of difficult budget decisions have already been made, other will follow. After careful scrutiny, we had made the decision to shift UMM's sports sponsorship in the following ways as of the 04-05 academic year: we will eliminate wrestling for men and women, and we will add women's swimming. We have looked at our athletic programs in the context of our move this fall to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) and our commitment to building a competitive program. In that analysis, we have determined that men's and women's wrestling are no longer viable sports for UMM. A historical review of our programs indicates several determining factors.
First, the trend shows fewer colleges sponsoring men's wrestling nationally. In our former NCAA Division II conference, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, only 3 continuing members sponsor men's wrestling. Just four of the 13 Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference members sponsor wrestling. No UMAC schools sponsor wrestling.
Second, the growth predicted in women's intercollegiate wrestling in the early 1990's did not materialize. Wrestling has not achieved the level of participation the NCAA requires for emerging sports for women. For women, the NCAA sponsors 19 sports plus 7 emerging sports; wrestling is not among them. UMM is the only university in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest sponsoring women's wrestling.
Third, the number of entering freshmen students who wrestle at UMM have fallen off sharply to approximately 8 new freshmen (men and women) each year. Between 60 and 70% of entering students who wrestle at UMM are gone before their junior year. This attrition level greatly exceeds the student body average.
Our decision to begin a women's swimming program continues our commitment to strengthening sports participation opportunities for women articulated in Title IX legislation. Minnesota high school participation in girls swimming is strong, prospective and current students have expressed interest in a collegiate swim program at UMM, and we have excellent facilities where we have hosted area high school meets (including sectional competition) with 12 teams and 300 spectators and participants. Our swim program will compete independently, in dual meets and individual conferences hosted by UMM and colleges around the state, where it's common to find NCAA, DIII, DII, and DI swimmers competing against each other. In this time of limited resources, we are reallocating funds to begin a program with great promise in attracting and retaining talented students.
Our decision to end wrestling at UMM was not an easy decision in light of the success of the talented students involved in our wrestling programs and the national visibility they've brought to our small campus. We are proud of our students and alumni who have achieved success in wrestling and at UMM. The wrestling program will continue for the coming year. In the first round of budget cuts for 2003-04, we eliminated the wrestling budget. In the 2004-05 budget year, we will eliminate the operating budget and coaching salary. Women's swimming will begin in 2004-05. We will work with Regional Fitness Center management as we develop the program to maximize our collaboration on staffing, facility scheduling, and aquatics programming. These changes will net $38,000 in annual savings as part of UMM's required budget reduction. This has been a difficult decision, but one that aligns our athletics program with our institutional mission and priorities and saves money.
Fohl added that women's wrestling has been a gray area because it's not an officially sponsored sport by NCAA and it hasn't taken off intercollegiately. Our Admissions office reports that prospective students ask about men's soccer, women's swimming and men and women's ice hockey. Kildegaard asked if this change would be in compliance with Title IX. Olson-Loy stated yes and explained that institutions must comply with one of the following: 1) Providing opportunities for participation in intercollegiate sports by gender in approximate proportion to undergraduate enrollment (substantial proportionality); 2) Demonstrating a "history and continuing practice" of expanding opportunities for the underrepresented gender (continued expansion); or 3) Presenting proof that is its "fully and effectively" accommodating the athletic interests of the underrepresented gender (full accommodation). Olson-Loy added that we have consulted with the General Counsel's office and have been told there is potential for a lawsuit. Angell inquired about the cost of adding women's swimming or men's soccer. Olson-Loy said it would cost about $48,000 to add women's' swimming. Fohl thought it would take between $80,000 to $100,000 to start up a soccer team. He added that travel would be hard to predict. Most colleges have the same coach for men and women. Sullivan asked how many students have been recruited for this year. Fohl responded 4 men and maybe 4 women. Anderson added that there are no eligibility requirements to be a woman wrestler. Fohl said we try to track them but they can still compete without our sponsorship. Dean asked if swimming would generate or drain revenue. Fohl said we could host some swim meets which would generate income and fortunately, much of what is needed is already at our pool. Olson-Loy asked the students for their input. Kloek said she believes wrestling is an interesting niche that UMM has that other schools donít. Sullivan said he is ignorant about wrestling, but wondered why we would cut something that gets a lot of attention. Ely wondered if women's wrestling would be a greater asset than women's swimming. Olson-Loy said Coach Reese has been effective telling parts of the story; however, we also need to tell other athletic stories. Angell asked why wrestlers are leaving. Olson-Loy thought perhaps they are more committed to wrestling than going to college or graduating. Fohl said this problem is not unique to UMM, it's the nature of wrestling. Johnson added that the problem isn't unique to higher education, there simply isn't the interest in wrestling in high schools any more. Anderson said UMM's mission is to provide a good quality experience for student athletes, not simply be a feeder to wrestling teams. Schuman added that he doesn't like cutting anything or eliminating sports, but the fact is this is the appropriate place to start looking. Kildegaard said he was in favor of adding swimming, but wondered why we would need to add swimming if we cut wrestling. Olson-Loy said it goes back to compliance and UMM has met the second by demonstrating a history of expanding opportunities for the underrepresented gender. Schuman added that his goal is to meet the third, which is: Presenting proof that is, its "fully and effectively" accommodating the athletic interests of the underrepresented gender (full accommodation). Angell made a motion to support the recommendation for cutting men's and women's wrestling and adding women's swimming and to present the proposal with major talking points to the campus community this fall. Second by Kildegaard. Motion passed. Olson-Loy asked for a friendly amendment regarding the timeline; she suggests sharing the information this summer with a follow up communication this fall. Angell and Kildegaard approved amendment. Motion passed.
Reorganization in Student Affairs
Olson-Loy also mentioned the reorganization in Student Affairs with the elimination of the Director of Residential Life. Hodgson said this one came as a surprise and he believes it should have been brought to CRPC or the Consultative Committee and thinks it reflects poorly on the Administration. Lopez said he was consulted about the decision and it was a judgment call on his part. He believes it is his fault for not calling a meeting and not the fault of the Administration. Schuman responded that the Administration is doing exactly what the Budget Task Force asked (identifying a 3% administrative reduction) and that means eliminating positions. Chillingly, this is probably not the last personnel cut. Olson-Loy said this was one of the most difficult decisions she has had to make. She did consult with appropriate people on campus, including Andy Lopez and Jim VanAlstine, Bart Finzel, John Bowers, and the vice chancellors. Hodgson asked if restructuring is germane to this committee. Kildegaard asked what the committee's charge. Lopez said he sees Hodgson's point and he will get the committee their charge at the first meeting this fall. Olson-Loy said she would be happy to come in to talk to the committee.
Adjourned at 12:25 p.m.