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   from the issue of April 19, 2007

NU Athletics earns NCAA certification

UNL was one of 41 Division I member institutions certified by the National Collegiate Athletics Association. The announcement culminates a multi-year project involving UNL chancellor Harvey Perlman, Athletics Department administration and staff, and others.

"We have a long tradition of excellence in athletics; not only in both the academic and athletic achievements of our student-athletes, but in the effective stewardship of the resources and talent within our Athletics Department as a whole," Perlman said. "The NCAA certification is indicative of the quality and focus of the entire Athletics Department under the direction of Steve Pederson."

A committee of 38 individuals was appointed by Perlman in September 2005 to prepare the necessary background for the NCAA certification process. The committee, chaired by the dean of the UNL Law School, Steve Willborn, included three subcommittees: Governance and Rules Compliance, chaired by Paul Shoemaker, director of the UNL School of Accountancy; Academic Integrity, chaired by Sidnie White-Crawford, chair of the Department of Classics and Religious Studies; and Equity and Student Welfare, chaired by Phil Miller, professor of animal science.

The certification self-study was submitted to the NCAA during the spring semester 2006, and a site visit was conducted the following fall semester.

The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993. The NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced decisions April 12 concerning the certification status of 46 Division I member institutions that have undergone the association's second cycle of athletics certification. Five institutions received conditional certification. All 326 Division I institutions must be certified every 10 years.

The certification process, which involves a self-study led by an institution's president or chancellor, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete well-being. A designation of certified means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.

"We are very pleased that this NCAA Certification process has been completed with such excellent results," Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. "I am very appreciative of our University of Nebraska colleagues, led by Law College Dean Steve Willborn, and Herb Howe and Renee Hagerman from Chancellor Perlman's office, who devoted their time to do this outside review of athletics. Our goal is to have the finest athletic program in the country and processes like this help us continue to sharpen our program. This is continued evidence of just how special the University of Nebraska is overall."



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