CSUB launching self-study as part of NCAA Division I certification

August 28, 2008
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

California State University, Bakersfield has begun a year-long, campus-wide study of its athletics program as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletics certification program.

The self-study will examine how the athletics program helps to fulfill the mission of the university and, at the same time, will take a close look at how the university's athletics program and academic environment provide mutual support for student-athletes.

While academic accreditation is common in universities, the NCAA program focuses solely on certification of athletic programs. The study is part of CSUB's move to Division I athletics.

"The self-study will open the athletic department to review by the broader campus community," said President Horace Mitchell. "The university will benefit by increasing campus-wide awareness and knowledge about the athletics program - what it has been, what it is currently, and what we hope for it to be in the future."

Initiated by the NCAA in 1993, the athletics certification program is designed to help ensure integrity in institutional athletics programs.

Mitchell has appointed a steering committee of faculty, staff, students and community members to conduct the self-study. Co-chaired by Provost Soraya Coley and Vice President Shelley Ruelas, the committee will gather information and recommendations through subcommittees on academic integrity, diversity, gender, governance and commitment to rules compliance, and student-athlete well-being. Each area will be measured against a set of operating principles established by the NCAA.

"The self-study process engages a broad cross-section of students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and external supporters in ensuring a well-managed, highly compliant athletics program," Mitchell emphasized. "An institution, like an individual, is made better through self-evaluation."

The university has established a web site, www.csub.edu/ncaa, that includes lists of committee and subcommittee members, has regularly updated information about the self-study and provides opportunities for public input.

"We're interested in conducting a thorough study and will welcome input from the campus community throughout the process." Mitchell said. "In part, we'll look at how the activities of the athletics program relate to our university mission and vision."

After the completed self-study report is submitted to on April 30, 2009, a team of NCAA reviewers from other colleges, universities, or conference offices will then conduct a three-day on-campus evaluation. The peer-review team will report its findings to the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification where the final certification status is determined. The process is expected to be complete by early 2010.