Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges

Staff Building / Diversity

Operating Principles for Athletics Organizations

Operating principles reflect the athletics director’s beliefs about the ways in which people and organizations achieve excellence – the keys to personal and organizational success.  Many times, these principles are the product of a manager’s past experience in leading teams, groups or organizations but they are always consistent with the stated values of the current organization and its leadership.  The essence of an operating principle is that it is an expectation about how everyone in an organization is expected to relate to each other, treat external publics and approach everyday tasks. 

Q: Should the athletic department have its own annual performance evaluation instrument in addition to the institution's?

A:  YES, unless such an addition is restricted by union agreements or institutional policy.  A comprehensive evaluation instrument is essential for the conduct of an annual performance review and deserves the careful attention of the athletic director.  While the institution may have a standardized instrument, the athletic department is usually permitted to customize various elements to match employee responsibilities.  Following are the recommended elements for a comprehensive annual performance evaluation:

Q: What role should the athletics policy board play in advancing diversity?

A:   In higher education, an athletics policy board, usually named the Intercollegiate Athletics Council, consisting of faculty, administrators and alumni from outside the athletics department is often a governance association requirement.  Even if it isn’t, having an objective, majority faculty oversight board in place to annually review key diversity performance indicators and to be involved and invested in the achievement of diversity objectives is very beneficial.  Consideration should be given to establishing a goal for this group to be 40-60% minority (female and non-white), because i

Diversity Key Performance Indicators

Key to achieving objectives is specifying those actions and programs that will produce desired results and tracking these actions and programs as “key performance indicators” (KPI).  Thus, each objective in the strategic plan should have a list of KPIs and how those KPIs will be tracked.   Further, consideration should be given to tracking KPIs by employees responsible for their achievement (i.e., tracking the race, ethnicity and gender of all employees by supervisor responsible for hiring that staff unit).  Following are examples of KPIs that are matched to diversity objectives included in

Sample Diversity Goal and Objectives

Setting goals and establishing measurable objectives is a key first step in achieving diversity outcomes.  In general, a goal should be a broad, narrative, and visionary expression of the athletics program’s diversity commitment while objectives are specific, measurable and may include a timeframe for achievement.  Typically, a diversity goal is one of many goals established by the athletics department and a part of the athletics program’s strategic plan.  Alternatively, or in addition, the athletics department may have a separate diversity plan with its own goals and objectives.