Location changes for Rawlings panel to consider role of athletics in campus life

The University has moved the location of a roundtable discussion that will launch the work of a panel of distinguished leaders in higher education and athletics who meet for the first time on Friday, April 19, to consider the role of athletics in campus life.

The panel will meet from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Lecture Hall G202, Murray Hall. This room is next to the brick archway where Murray Hall and Venable Hall meet. Both are part of the Carolina Physical Science Complex. (Previously, the location was the Carolina Inn.)

The idea of a panel originated in a report produced in 2012 by a Faculty Executive Committee. The goal is to consider the recent challenges facing the University and how they apply to other campuses and the national higher education community on a broad scale.

The panel chair is Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, which represents 62 leading research universities including Carolina. A former university president and successful collegiate student-athlete, Rawlings spoke at UNC in 2012 about the future of research universities (see video). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Joining Rawlings on the panel are:

  • James Delany, longtime commissioner of the Big Ten Conference and a former NCAA enforcement officer. He holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Carolina, where he was a tri-captain on the men’s basketball team.
  • Bob Malekoff, associate professor and sport studies chair at Guilford College and a former athletics director and head coach. He has written about athletics and sports management at the collegiate and professional levels.
  • Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and previously an NCAA employee and athletics administrator at the University of Kansas. She earned academic honors as a Wake Forest student-athlete.
  • Patricia Timmons-Goodson, former associate justice of the N.C. Supreme Court who holds two UNC-Chapel Hill degrees and served on the N.C. Court of Appeals. She serves on Guilford College’s Board of Trustees.

Chancellor Holden Thorp and five other invited speakers will address the panel as part of a roundtable discussion and will cover topics including the NCAA, presidential control, amateurism, the current context of the model for college athletics, and the role of faculty.

They are, in the order, of their appearances:

  • Bubba Cunningham, UNC director of athletics;
  • Thorp, who leaves UNC as chancellor in June to become provost for Washington University in St. Louis;
  • Jay Bilas, ESPN broadcaster, attorney and a former Duke basketball player;
  • Richard Southall, UNC associate professor of sport administration and director of the College Sport Research Institute;
  • Jay Smith, UNC professor of history; and
  • Joy Renner, UNC Faculty Athletics Committee Chair and clinical associate professor of allied health sciences.

Following those remarks, students, faculty and staff will also have an opportunity to share public comments for the panel’s consideration.

“I don’t expect this panel to solve in a short time what the Knight Commission has been addressing for more than 20 years,” said Thorp. “But this is a good opportunity to engage in a conversation that could lead to new ideas for best practices moving forward. I will leave it up to Dr. Rawlings and the panelists to decide how to proceed with this work after the first meeting.

“The issues we face here are not unique to Carolina, and we hope other campuses around the nation will benefit in some way from the panel’s work.”

Updated April 16, 2013

Originally Published March 28, 2013