NCAA Operating Principles
Division I Athletics Certification Program

As part of the NCAA self-study, Harvard has established four subcommittees to examine the areas of: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity, fiscal integrity, and commitment to equity. Each subcommittee will determine whether Harvard's intercollegiate athletics program adheres to the NCAA operating principles developed for each area. Those operating principles are described below.

Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance
Chair: Elizabeth S. Nathans
E-mail: nathans@fas.harvard.edu

  1. Institutional Mission. Maintaining intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program is a basic purpose of the Association. Consistent with this fundamental policy, the mission and goals of the athletics program shall:

    1. Appear in published form and be given wide circulation within the institution and among its external constituencies;
    2. Relate clearly to the mission and goals of the institution;
    3. Support the educational objectives and academic progress of student-athletes;
    4. Support equitable opportunity for all students and staff, including women and minorities;
    5. Result from a process of development and periodic review involving substantive participation by the major constituent groups of the institution, and
    6. Be reflected in the actual practices of the institution's athletics program.

  2. Institutional Control. The Association's principle of institutional control vests in the institution the responsibility for the conduct of its athletics program, including the actions of its staff members and representatives of its athletics interests.

  3. Presidential Authority, Governing Board. The institution's governing board shall provide oversight and broad policy formulation. The chief executive officer shall be assigned ultimate responsibility and authority for the actual operation of the athletics program, with clear and direct support of the board.

  4. Shared Responsibilities. The athletics program shall be an integral part of the educational enterprise of the institution. As such, appropriate campus constituencies shall have the opportunity to provide input into the formulation of policies relating to the conduct of the athletics program and to scrutinize the implementation of such policies.

  5. Assignment of Rules-Compliance Responsibilities. The institution shall have in place a set of written policies and procedures that assign specific responsibilities in the area of rules compliance. In critical and sensitive areas, institutional compliance procedures shall provide for the regular participation of persons outside of the athletics department.

  6. Rules-Compliance Accountability. Rules compliance shall be the subject of an ongoing educational effort, and the commitment to rules compliance shall be a central element in personnel decisions within the department of intercollegiate athletics.

  7. Rules-Compliance Evaluation. The institution shall provide evidence that its rules-compliance program is the subject of periodic (e.g., annual) evaluation by an authority outside of the athletics department.

Academic Integrity
Chair: William R. Fitzsimmons
E-mail: pacholok@fas.harvard.edu

  1. Student-Athletes Integrated in Student Body. An intercollegiate athletics program shall be designed to be a vital part of the institution's educational system, and student-athletes shall be considered an integral part of the student body.

  2. Admissions and Graduation. The institution shall admit only student-athletes who have reasonable expectations of obtaining academic degrees. If the graduation rate of student-athletes is significantly lower than that of the rest of the student body, this disparity shall be analyzed, explained and addressed (through specific plans for improvement) by appropriate institutional authorities under clearly established and approved policies. If the academic profile of entering student-athletes differs from that of the rest of the student body, the contrast shall be analyzed and explained by regular institutional authorities under clearly established and approved policies.

  3. Academic Authority. The responsibility for admission, certification of academic standing and evaluation of academic performance of student-athletes shall be vested in the same agencies that have authority in these matters for students generally.

  4. Academic Support. Adequate academic support services shall be available for student-athletes. Student-athletes shall be encouraged and assisted in reaching attainable academic goals of their own choosing. When it is determined that individual student-athletes have special academic needs, these needs shall be addressed. The support services shall be approved and reviewed periodically by academic authorities outside the department of intercollegiate athletics.

  5. Scheduling. The scheduling of athletics competition and practice shall minimize conflicts between athletics participation and academic schedules, especially during examination periods.

Fiscal Integrity
Chair: Nancy Maull
E-mail: dlmurphy@harvard.edu

  1. Financial Controls. Institutional financing of intercollegiate athletics shall follow prudent management and fiscal practices and provide relatively full and stable opportunities for student-athletes. All funds raised for and expended on athletics shall be subject to generally accepted practices of documentation, review and oversight. In addition, all expenditures from any sources for athletics shall be approved by the institution. Budget and audit procedures for athletics shall be consistent with those followed by the institution generally and with the provisions of NCAA Constitution 6.2, which requires that the institution's annual budget for athletics be approved by the institution's chief executive officer or designee from outside the athletics department, and that a financial audit be performed by a qualified auditor who is not a staff member of the institution and who is selected by the chief executive officer or designee from outside the athletics department.

  2. Established Policies and Procedures. The institution shall have in place policies and standard operating procedures to ensure that all expenditures for athletics are handled consistently in accordance with NCAA rules.

Commitment To Equity
Chair: Barbara J. Grosz
E-mail: fbroder@fas.harvard.edu

  1. Gender Issues. An institution shall demonstrate that in the area of intercollegiate athletics, it is committed to fair and equitable treatment of both men and women. It shall have available adequate information for assessing its current progress in this area and an institutional plan for addressing it in the future. The plan shall provide for accommodating the evolving standards of the Association in the area of gender equity.

  2. Minority Issues. An institution shall demonstrate that in the area of intercollegiate athletics, it is committed to providing equitable opportunities for minority students and institutional personnel. It shall have available adequate information for assessing its current progress in this area and an institutional plan for addressing it in the future. The plan shall provide for accommodating the evolving standards of the Association in the area of minority issues.

  3. Student-Athlete Welfare. The institution shall demonstrate a commitment to the fair treatment of student-athletes, particularly in their academic role as students. There shall be evidence that the welfare of student-athletes and the fairness of their treatment is monitored, evaluated and addressed on a continuing basis.

END