Athletics Department Diversity: Student-Athletes, Staff and Organizational Climate

Presenting Circumstances

  • Significant under representation of females, persons of color and individuals with disabilities as athletic department employees and/or student-athletes;  athletics director desires comprehensive plan to improve athletics department climate or organization minority recruitment and retention; and/or
  • Desire of a Division I athletics director to develop an employment plan in readiness for future NCAA certification program peer review process; and/or
  • Lack of compensation model, job descriptions, performance expectations and evaluation procedures for coaches; and/or
  • Management concern that personnel systems (hiring, orientation, training, evaluation and professional development) do not reflect best practices; and/or 
  • Athletics department is confronting any of the following challenges:

    • Litigation or complaints related to athletics department employment practices
    • NCAA Division I Certification failure in the area of gender or minority employment
    • Sexual harassment or other employee complaints
    • Student-athlete complaints related to coach behavior
    • Lack of racial/ethnic diversity among student-athletes

Overview of Consultant Deliverables

  • Review of all written athletics department policies and procedures related to the hiring, orientation, training, evaluation and professional development of employees   
  • Work with athletics director and senior staff to survey staff and student-athletes to gather data concerning perceptions of the current status of diversity within the organization and diversity concerns
  • For NCAA Division I program, oversee the completion of a gender equity and minority issues assessment in the area of employment that would conform to certification program requirements
  • Create reporting systems that enable the athletics director to regularly review critical indicators directly related to the personnel plan
  • Review of performance objectives and alignment with job descriptions, personnel evaluation and professional development programs with recommendations for enhancement 
  • Based on the policies and procedures review, the certification standards assessment, and the analysis of interview, survey and other data provided by the athletics department, guide athletics department senior staff in the development of personnel plan recommendations that conform with best practices for:
    • policy and/or procedure revisions 
    • programmatic and/or operating system changes
    • professional development needs
    • educational interventions for staff and/or student-athletes 
  • Formal presentation, upon request, of results to athletics staff, faculty oversight body and/or executive officers of institution