Minutes of the Campus Faculty Meeting
May 2, 2016
3:30 p.m. - Giffels Auditorium

John Pijanowski, Chair
Linda Jones, Secretary
Minutes Status: Tentative

Call to Order – John Pijanowski, Campus Faculty Chair

The Chair called the meeting to order at 3:30


Jeff Long, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics

Unique to have athletics attached to higher education (in the world).
Considers himself an educator (MA in education, BA in economics)
Athletics is a part of education; an additional way to educate young people.

Classroom education
Academic counseling
Career advising, leadership training, service learning

Want student athletes to perform at a high level in sports and academics
The degree is the most important

Their mission:  To develop student-athletes to their fullest potential through intercollegiate athletics.

Athletics – very diverse
Varied in ethnicity and gender
40 to 50 international students

Students in almost all of our colleges, primarily education 35%, Fulbright 31%, and WCOB 21%.13% in the remaining colleges.

40 enrolled in the honors program

GPA is the highest it has been – 3.24 in 2015; 12 with 4.0; 259 above 3.0; 10 below 2.0
We are doing well.

APR – Academic Progress Rate –
Real time progress towards degree… 9.25 as correlating to graduating at a successful level.
We have our goal at 930; for the last four year, zero teams below that mark.  That equates to future graduation rate increases.

Fall Academic Honor Roll Selection – football, in 2008, 7; last in our conference.  2015, 40 under coach Bilema.  Our football team was number one in the SEC!  Our overall 19 sports was number one as well in the SEC!

Very proud of the student athletes. 

Federal graduation rates –
UA projected at 62% in 15/16
UA student athletes at 56% in 15/16 (includes those who drop out, transfer)

Graduation Success Rate – allows you to remove someone who transfers or leaves the UA in good academic standard.  So, their departure doesn’t count against you.
78% projected at the end of the 15/16 year.

Number of graduates…
07/08 – 62
13/14 – 112
14/15 - 87
15/16 – 103

Jerry and Gene Jones – Family Student Athlete Success Center – a visible sign of athletics’ commitment to education.  Bond debt has been paid off.

Focus is not on keeping them eligible alone; focus is above all, getting them to graduate!  Trying to help the athletes be their very best!!  Doing academic counseling, leadership training, clinical and sports psychologists, and so on.  Has helped to head off some issues.  Also have a nutritionist that helps them out.  Wanted a facility that made a difference.  The student athletes like it.

Service learning – 6,718 hours of community service.  Students want to do this; they grow and gain from it.

Leadership academy – geared towards freshmen student athletes, emerging leaders, senior leaders.  It goes with being a leader in any walk of life.  How to be a leader and a follower.

Career development, planning and placement

Athletic Success:  Directors’ Cup Rankings
It ranks all sports.  We have 19.  2014-2015 – 16 of our 19 sports scored nationally.  Highest ever.

Facilities master plan – have developed/renovated facilities to support our programs.  Planning a north end zone segment to add more seating, to facilitate passage from east to west, to add more club rooms.  Includes elevator towers.

Arkansas’ goal beyond education – to remain financially self-sustaining.  No state dollars, no direct university support, no student fees.  We are one of 12 programs that are self-sustaining but actually send money BACK to campus.  Million to nano building for 30 years; also Champion’s hall; library support.  ASG support, Band support, other academic things are supported.

Dr. Charles Small – New Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services. 

Athletics – consistently puts the education experience first.
Take great pride in supporting the student athletes.
Coaches reinforce the message of education, class attendance, and so on.
Students have access to learning specialists – time management, study habits, and so on.
Working to make sure the student athletes have all the support they need.


What if athletics can’t pay bonds off for stadium expansion, who does this fall to?  Long – very conservative but does not have concerns.  We are second to last in the amount of debt we have.  We have less debt than all schools except Vanderbilt.  This north end zone helps to ensure that we are self-efficient.  Will generate more money to support the program.  Need to provide fans what they are asking for.  North end zone is giving the fans what they want. 

Tell us about the philosophy behind the tutoring practices.  Where do the tutors receive their training?  Our tutors are certified.  The philosophy is that we provide student athletes support but also point them towards independence; learn to process the information they learn and project it out to reveal learning. Also work to make sure they understand academic integrity.  Make sure, also, we have learning specialists present.  Also work on objectives-based learning.  Also have learning labs for writing, math, language.  Have fired tutors who may have crossed the line; have approached teachers to inform them when they believe a student athlete has crossed the line.  Will turn in student athletes who cross the academic integrity line.

Are you tracking success after graduation?  A qualifying yes…  minimally tracking them into the future, just beginning to do this with regards jobs and professional degrees.  But, will be expanding this beyond what is currently done.  Partnering with the Career Development Center on campus to track the students.

What level of resource does it take to apply this model to the rest of campus?  Some are looking at our model and to see how to implement this on our campus.  Long has seen student support services that are interesting at other universities for non-athletes… could be interesting to pursue for our campus.

Thank you from the audience for making a good difference with our student athletes.  Coaches understand the need to make a difference with students, to work with students and to recruit students who demonstrate the potential to succeed.


The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.