After several months of conducting research, holding group meetings and working long hours, The University of Texas-Pan American completed its self-study and submitted the results to the NCAA today, Tuesday, May 3.
Last summer, UTPA initiated a rigorous self-examination of its Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, which is required by the NCAA in order for the program to be recertified. The areas assessed included academic integrity, diversity, gender equality, governance and commitment to rules compliance, and student-athlete well-being.
NCAA requires all Division I schools, which includes UTPA, to undergo an extensive self-study every 10 years to ensure integrity in universities' athletic programs by setting standards for operating them and imposing sanctions when the institutions fail to address issues within their programs. UTPA successfully conducted self-studies in 1994 and in 2003 and the University is hopeful the hard work that went into preparing the current study will meet the requirements set by the NCAA.
UTPA administrators said they are pleased with completing their self-study and meeting their timeline, because the NCAA Division I Board of Directors is in the process of reviewing the existing certification program and considering upgrading it to enhance the use of technology and focus on the student-athlete experience. Despite NCAA's proposed changes and offer to extend the deadline to allow the University an opportunity to be included in a new certification process, the University chose to turn in its report on its original deadline.
"We have spent too much time and done too good a job not to continue," said Dr. Susan R. Griffith, chair of the NCAA self-study steering committee and executive director of the University's Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. "This has been a very rewarding process."
After reviewing the report, representatives from the NCAA will visit the campus this fall for an evaluation. UTPA will then have an opportunity to respond to analyses on the study from the NCAA's peer review team and certification committee.
Assuming the NCAA approves the study, UTPA should receive its certification in the spring of 2012.