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Minutes for 04/14/10

Minutes for 04/14/10

McNeese State University Athletics Advisory Committee

  1. Call to Order

    Meeting called to order by Michele Martin (Chair) at 4:00 p.m.
    Committee members present: Martin (Chair), Awagain, Blakeley, Bradley, Burckel, Clark, Daboval, Duhon, Fischer, Hebert, Northam, Pitre
    Committee members absent: Bradley, Chretien, Griffith, Patterson, Rutherford
    Guest: Allison Blevins
    Presenters:  Dr. Robert Hebert, Tommy McClelland, Allison Blevins, Bridget Martin, Deb Kingrey, Randi Fischer, Travis Pickering, Michele Martin.
  2. Approval of Agenda
    Agenda for 4/14/10 approved.
  3. Approval of Prior Minutes
    Minutes from 2/10/10 meeting previously distributed electronically and subsequently approved.
  4. Materials Distributed at Today's Meeting
    • Agenda for 4/14/10 (M. Martin)
    • Assessment & Approval of Academic Services for Student Athletes (Blevins)
    • Report to MSU Athletics Advisory Committee (B. Martin)
    • Adopted NCAA Legislation, 2009-10 (B. Martin)
    • Athletics Advisory Committee, Academic Report (Kingrey)
  5.  Dr. Robert Hebert, McNeese State University President
    Dr. Hebert will be retiring as President of McNeese State University, effective 6/30/10.  He thanked the Athletics Advisory Committee members and Chair Martin for their hard work and contributions over the past several years.  Chair Martin, in turn, thanked Dr. Hebert for his continued support of this committee's work.  Athletics Director Tommy McClelland thanked Dr. Hebert as well and pointed out the success of MSU athletics during President Hebert's tenure.
  6. Ms. Allison Blevins, Director, General and Basic Studies
    Assessment and Approval of Academic Services for Student Athletes handout distributed.  Ms. Blevins reviewed all sections with the committee.
    Academic Advising.
    Recommendation regarding priority registration:
    There are those student-athletes who do not take advantage and register during this 24-hour period [priority registration] for various reasons … University Computing Services can create a report of student-athletes who have registration holds because of a Personal Touch Account balance to appear on this report.  It is recommended that this report be run each semester one week prior to priority registration and that student-athletes with registration holds be contacted in an effort to make them eligible to register … It is recommended that student-athletes schedule appointments with their advisors for these evenings on a centrally located list and that this list be managed and communicated to athletic advisors and academic liaison coaches prior to priority advising.
    It is recommended that information for tutors include NCAA rules and regulations.
    Note: It was also suggested by the committee (for compliance purposes) that tutors formally acknowledge having received information on such rules and responsibilities.
    Success Skills.
    No recommendations at this time.
    Study Hall.
    Student athletes are choosing to take more web courses due to their practice and competition schedules.  Those who are enrolled in these courses will often use study hall time time to work on web assignments   Whether or not a student-athlete earns study hall hours working on a web course or working with a tutor, the time is counted by the Assistant Academic Counselor of Student-Athletes in the overall hours earned.  For those student-athletes who struggle, it would likely be beneficial to direct them to spend more time with a tutor instead of free study time … It is recommended that student-athletes who have lower than average performance in a course based on grade and attendance checks have directed study time rather than free study time.
    Freshman/Transfer Orientation.
    It is recommended that those student-athletes who transfer to McNeese be required to take Transfer Orientation once it is created.
    Note: Director, Freshman Foundations and Students in Transition, expected to be named soon.
    Academic Progress Monitoring and Reporting.
    General and Basic Studies is piloting a voluntary grade reporting system for instructors of freshmen.  Any instructor may choose to report students are contacted and counseled.  The reporting and counseling is done prior to mid-semester to the student time to improve.  Additionally, freshman English and Math instructors are piloting a mandatory mid-semester grade reporting system in Spring, 2010.   If successful, mid-semester grade reporting may become mandatory for freshmen and eventually all sophomore-level courses.
    Currently, mid semester grade reports are requested for all student-athletes.  The paper reports are issued to student-athletes who gather the information and return it to the academic counselor, who then reproduces the information in report form.  The academic counselor is collaborating with University Computing Services to automate this process for efficiency.  It is recommended that, when possible, any existing support staff be available to assist with testing this new program.
    Assistance for Special Academic Needs.
    No recommendations at this time.
    Learning Assessments.
    Academic departments are working to create more departmental challenge exams for credit.  Departments have also agreed to teach intersession courses between the spring and fall semesters.  While courses taught during that intercession will not help student-athletes earn the 18 hours needed during the spring and fall semesters, it will help them earn credit that can be used toward their degree complete percentage.  As the student population becomes more diverse, so must the opportunities to earn credit.  It is recommended that further study be done to determine the benefit and viability of a fall to spring intervention.
    No recommendations at this time.
    Assistance for At-Risk Students.
    No recommendations at this time.
    Post-Eligibility Programs.
    No recommendations at this time.
    Chair Martin and committee members thanked Ms. Blevins for the thoroughness and quality of her work in compiling this extensive report.   The committee unanimously approved and accepted the document.
  7. Mr. Tommy McClelland, Athletics Director.
    Mr. McClelland was pleased to announce that the student self-assessed fee increase of $32 (from $10 to $42) for Athletics passed by two-thirds majority. The funds will be used to address Title IX issues, equipment, travel, recruiting budgets, equipment, training for staff, supplies, and marketing efforts to increase student attendance at athletic events.  Progress analogous to Appalachian State (increase in applications, enrollment, fundraising, exposure) is the desired goal.
    Volleyball coach Dale Starr has left McNeese and accepted a position at Robert Morris University.  The McNeese Athletics Department will move quickly to fill the vacancy.
    Fieldhouse construction has begun.  Projected finish date is May, 2011.
    Number of computers in Athletics Study Lab will be increased from 9 to 25.
    McNeese Athletics is currently in 4th place in the Southland Conference Commissioner's Cup standings.  Cowboy squads are 1st among Louisiana SLC institutions.
    Mr. McClelland gave an update on ticket availability for the McNeese @ LSU football game (10/16/10).  Season ticket holders are eligible to purchase one additional ticket, but are asked to do so ASAP.
  8. Bridget Martin, Senior Woman Administrator/Compliance Officer
    Report to MSU Athletics Advisory Committee distributed.
    McNeese has reported one level I and one level II secondary violation since 2/10/10 meeting.  Eight secondary violations reported for 2009-10.
    NCAA Legislative proposals discussed.
    NCAA Division I Legislation Council decided all Division I student-athletes must be tested for sickle cell trait, show proof of a prior test or sign a waiver releasing an institution from liability if they decline to be tested.  The new rule will be in effect for the 2010-2011 academic year.
  9. Deb Kingrey, Academic Counselor for Student-Athletes
    122 student-athletes are currently enrolled for Summer, 2010.
    Final grade and attendance checks (via e-mail) were sent on 4/14/10.  Responses will be forwarded to academic liaison coaches.
    Spring "Finals Supper" is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, (6 p.m.) at the baseball pavilion.  All Athletics Advisory Committee members are invited to attend.
  10. Randi Fischer, SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee)
    Ms. Fischer summarized the many community support projects (e.g. Special Olympics, Kiwanis, "pull tab" collection, speaking to elementary school students, run/walk fundraiser, Athletes Supporting Athletes, etc.) in which SAAC has been involved over the past few months as well as future scheduled events.
  11. Travis Pickering, Coordinator of Student-Athlete Mentoring
    Update on mentoring program.  Travis is strongly encouraging mentors to meet at least once per week with their assigned student-athletes.  This will hopefully result in better final grades for the student-athletes. 
    Exit surveys administered to student-athletes.
    Travis is proud to note tht community service hours performed by McNesese student-athletes have more than doubled (1,000 to 2,500).
  12.  Michele Martin, Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR)
    As always, McNeese student-athletes' academic achievements will be acknowledged by Chair Martin.
    It is unknown if any administrative changes at McNeese will have an impact on committee leadership or membership.  Chair Martin thanked the committee members for their many contributions, and once again acknowledged Dr. Hebert and Dr. Daboval for their leadership and guidance.
    Many valuable lessons were learned by during the NCAA self study and accreditation process.  These experiences will undoubtedly be of great value when the next self-study cycle begins.
    SGA President Rutherford will appoint a student representative to serve on next year's committee.

Next meeting:  Fall, 2010 Time and location TBA.

Minutes by Awagain