In addition to teaching, advising and mentoring student-athletes in research and professional opportunities, UNC faculty members also serve in official capacities related to University athletics.
The Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group identified and compiled recommendations from reports over the past several years and linked each report recommendation to 21 academic processes. Report Recommendations for Faculty Relations & Governance
8.0 Faculty Relations and Governance
UNC faculty provide oversight and guidance regarding athletics via the Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC), the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), the Committee on Special Talent and the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes (ASPSA) Advisory Committee. These are discussed in this section.
8.1 Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC)
The Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC) is an elected standing committee of the General Faculty. The FAC plays an advisory role to the Chancellor and the Department of Athletics, as well as a monitoring role on behalf of faculty interests.
The FAC’s charge: “The committee informs and represents the faculty and advises the chancellor on any aspect of athletics, including, but not limited to, the academic and broader University experience for varsity student athletes and the general conduct and operation of the University’s athletic program. [Amended 2/19/16]” (Faculty Code § 4-7[b])
Members of the Faculty Athletics Committee bring multiple perspectives to their role:
- Committee members bring the unique perspective of a UNC faculty member.
- Committee members are assigned specific processes related to student-athletes and provide thorough analysis of that process. They bring issues, concerns and/or suggestions related to these processes to the Committee for review, discussion and necessary recommendations for action. The processes are listed and described at http://apsa.unc.edu.
- Each committee member is assigned as a liaison to one of UNC’s 28 athletic teams. Team assignments help FAC members become familiar with the schedules, culture and philosophy of each team.
8.2 Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR)
The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) is appointed by the Chancellor from among the voting faculty for an indefinite term, subject to formal review at least every five years. The FAR serves as an advisor to the Chancellor and the Director of Athletics, and as a liaison to the faculty to help ensure academic integrity and compliance with Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules, and to assist in promoting a positive student-athlete experience at the university. The FAR makes an annual report to the Faculty Council and prepares special reports to the Council from time-to-time as may be requested by the Agenda Committee.
Within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), four individuals from each member institution have primary governance and operating responsibility: Chancellor/President, Director of Athletics, Senior Women’s Administrator and FAR. In absence of the Chancellor, the FAR is the university’s voting delegate to the ACC. The FAR is also the university’s faculty representative to the NCAA. Professor Lissa Broome, School of Law, has been UNC’s FAR since July 2010.
The FAR is an ex-officio member of a number of committees including:
- Faculty Athletics Committee
- Special Talent Committee of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee
- Educational Foundation Executive Board
- Faculty Advisory Committee to the ASPSA
- Licensing and Labor Code Advisory Committee
The FAR meets each month separately with the Chancellor, the Athletics Director and the Director of the ASPSA.
8.3 Advisory Committee to the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes (ASPSA)
In June 2020, the Executive Committee on Student-Athlete Academics (ECSAA) reviewed the work of several committees and groups that focus on student-athlete academics at Carolina and considered redundancies that have been created as a result of the evolution of these groups. The ECSAA unanimously agreed to sunset the ASPSA Advisory Committee in the summer of 2020.
History of the Committee: The September 2011 Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes Report recommended that the Advisory Committee to the ASPSA be revitalized. Subsequently, the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education appointed a committee for service in staggered terms. In Fall 2013, responsibility for this committee transferred to the Provost, who appointed members to the committee:
- Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (ex-officio)
- ASPSA Director (ex-officio)
- Admissions Director (ex-officio)
- Faculty Athletics Representative (ex-officio)
- Faculty Athletics Committee Chair (ex-officio)
- Senior Associate Athletics Director with responsibilities for Compliance (ex-officio)
- Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling (ex-officio)
- Seven appointed faculty members and staff professionals
The ASPSA Advisory Committee met twice per semester and provided program and policy level advice to the ASPSA. The Committee served as a source of guidance and support to the ASPSA. The ASPSA Advisory Committee had intentional overlap with members of the FAC and the FAR. The FAR provided reports to the ASPSA Advisory Committee on a regular basis.
8.4 Review of Student-Athlete Enrollment in Courses
The Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, the FAR and the University Registrar complete a review of courses each semester. This process began in Fall 2012, and two members of the FAC were added in Fall 2013. All classes with student-athlete enrollment greater than 20 percent of the total enrollment in the class are flagged for a review of the syllabus to ensure that the course requirements, meeting patterns, and grading standards are comparable to other courses at that level. Grading patterns of clustered sections are also examined in depth. Any concerns identified either in the enrollment or grade level reviews are referred to the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, who follows up individually with the chair of the relevant department for further information.
The Student Records Dashboard Reports system provides information regarding student course enrollment. Implemented by the University Registrar, the Dashboard enables department chairs to monitor compliance with teaching credit hour policies. Nearly 700 department users access the system to download pre-built reports and spreadsheets and to create custom queries.
The Registrar has also developed a Summary Dashboard system that enables department level personnel to access summary statistics. This tool offers an additional layer of oversight at the Dean’s level to ensure compliance with teaching credit hour policies (e.g., the number and percentage of instructors teaching more than two independent study courses in a term). Deviations can then be explored using the more detailed data available in the Student Records Dashboard Reports system.
8.5 Other Faculty Roles in Athletics
- Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions Committee on Special Talent (see Process 2.4 Committee on Special Talent)
- Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group (August 2013 – August 2015)
- The Faculty Executive Committee and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee (elected faculty committees that request and receive reports on athletics)
- Student-Athlete Academic Process Review Group (ongoing committee appointed by the Provost)
8.6 Faculty Involvement in Athletics and the NCAA
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has specific legislative guidelines precluding faculty members from providing a student-athlete an extra benefit. A history of faculty involvement in intercollegiate athletics may be found here.