The Faculty Board on Athletics traces its history to 1898, when a “board for the control and regulation of all school athletics” first emerged. Significant reorganizations of the Board occurred periodically, including in 1924 and in 2000. Whatever its composition and whatever the specific description of its duties, however, the goal has remained the same: to maintain the delicate but critical balance between academics and athletics at an institution that aspires to excellence in both.
Today, the Faculty Board on Athletics nurtures Notre Dame’s commitment to academic integrity within the athletics program, strives to ensure that the University’s athletics program operates in consonance with Notre Dame’s educational mission, and actively promotes the welfare and educational success of the University’s student-athletes. The Board also functions as a formal liaison between the faculty and the Department of Athletics.
In carrying out its charge, the Board reviews policies, procedures and practices that affect the educational experience of student-athletes and advises the President of its findings and deliberations. The Board systematically ascertains the views and concerns of student-athletes. The Board reviews data on admissions of student-athletes and on their academic performance, progress towards a degree, and graduation rates. The Board assesses the effectiveness of institutional support for student-athletes. In addition, the Board sets guidelines for the approval of all student petitions for a fifth year of athletic eligibility and votes on each such petition. The Board establishes guidelines for all intercollegiate athletics schedules and qualifications for captaincy of all University teams, and votes on all proposed schedules and captaincy nominations. The Board also assesses and revises procedures for resolving prospective conflicts between final examinations and post-season championship events. In its role as a liaison to the broader faculty, the Faculty Board disseminates appropriate, non-confidential information and initiates discussions on educational issues regarding intercollegiate athletics and the related concerns of the faculty and administration.
The Board’s fifteen members – a mix of the ex officio, the appointed and the elected–bring to their mandate a wide variety of experience and expertise. Although members often disagree on means, they all vigorously pursue excellence at Notre Dame. Much of the Board’s work takes place through its two subcommittees dealing with student welfare and academic integrity, respectively.
The Board meets formally about once a month. Additionally, the Chair calls special meetings from time to time to treat emergency matters, to introduce the Board to new head coaches, to address especially time-consuming issues, or to ease an overflow of pending matters.
For further information about the Board’s policies and procedures, please consult the most recent copy of our Manual.