Academic Senate Task Force Releases Final Report on Campus Athletics

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Faculty Task Force Final Report

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The Academic Senate Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics released a report Tuesday afternoon stating that while the UC Berkeley Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has been able to perpetuate athletic excellence and academic excellence and integrity, its long history of financial woes has caused an inability to maintain financial integrity.

In the report, the task force stated that a lack of control over expenses was the main problem causing the department's monetary woes, a situation caused 18 years ago when the department followed a recommendation from the 1991 Smelser report, titled Intercollegiate Athletics at Berkeley, to make its "fundamental operating principle" to "invest heavily in producing winning teams."

The department's troubled financial past has the task force concerned that too much campus support has been directed toward Intercollegiate Athletics. When asked to provide the task force with NCAA documents that detail the total "earned income" of department, only a "single-page Statement of Revenue and Expenditures provided to the NCAA" was given.

While the task force anticipated having access to detailed multi-year department revenue and expense statements, it was forced to craft its 12 recommendations for a possible path of financial sustainability solely from one page of expense information that lumped together various categories totaling as much as $8 million into one category specified as "other."

In addition to providing insight on possible ways to create financial sustainability for the department, the report emphasized that increasing philanthropy was another way to accrue more revenue instead of through campus subsidies.

Through philanthropy, the department could potentially reduce its reliance on a yearly subsidy and gradually obtain total self-sufficiency, the report states.

However, the report's recommendations are advisory. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau ultimately decides how and if the recommendations will be implemented.

Katie Nelson is the lead academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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