Sept. 30, 2010

Groups gear up for NCAA certification study

by Diana Pounds

Teams of ISU faculty, staff, students and community leaders are a few weeks into a lengthy study of the athletics program. The study is part of the NCAA Division I certification process, an undertaking that resembles the accreditation review for academic programs.

The 18-month process begins with a self-study of the athletics program and is followed by a campus visit by an external review team. The ultimate goal is NCAA certification, an acknowledgment that Iowa State's athletics program is run with integrity and meets the standards and core values of the NCAA.

Iowa State's last certification was in 2002. Recertification is required every 10 years.

Tahira Hira, executive assistant to the president and professor of consumer economics and personal finance, is chairing the 21-member steering committee that oversees the certification process. She was appointed to that post by president Gregory Geoffroy, who also sits on the committee.

"The integrity of our athletics program and the welfare of our student-athletes are very important," Geoffroy said. "Over the next year and a half, we will take a close look at our program to ensure that we are meeting our own expectations and those of the NCAA. We will identify areas which can be improved. And we will seek public input on how we're doing, which is an important part of any self-review."

Hira said study teams will assess such things as student-athletes' academic progress, the support services available to athletes, equity among men's and women's programs and efforts to promote sportsmanship and ethical conduct among fans.

Iowa State's self-study report is due to the NCAA by April 29, 2011. A peer review team will visit campus in the fall of 2011, and the NCAA is expected to make a decision on certification early in 2012.

More information

Visit Iowa State's NCAA Certification website for more information and updates.