PHILADELPHIA - University of Pennsylvania athletics director Steve Bilsky announced that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has again certified Penn's intercollegiate athletics program.
The certification process -- which was chaired on the University’s end by Deputy Provost Janice Bellace -- concludes an 18-month self-study process in which all aspects of Penn’s 33-sport athletics program were examined. The process includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; and student-athlete welfare.
The University of Pennsylvania was one of 17 universities to be fully certified in the NCAA’s most recent announcement, which came Monday afternoon. Two others were certified with conditions, meaning problems were identified that must be corrected before full certification can be awarded. A full list of the 19 schools in Penn’s cycle can be found at the NCAA’s website, www.NCAA.org.
A designation of certified means that an institution operates its athletic program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership. The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments.
NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was originally adopted in 1993. The second round of athletics certifications is being completed on a 10-year cycle rather than the five-year cycle used during the initial certification process. All 326 active Division I members participate in the certification process.
“This is an invaluable experience for Penn,” said Bilsky. “It is certainly rewarding to receive this validation and to have shared this undertaking and self-study with so many constituents of the extended Penn community.”
“We are extremely proud to receive this certification from the NCAA,” said University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. “This confirms the dedication and commitment of the Penn Intercollegiate Athletics Department in providing a superior experience for our outstanding student-athletes.”
In the certification process, the Division I Committee on Athletics Certification preliminarily reviews an institution’s certification materials and provides a list of issues identified during the evaluation. The university then hosts a visit by peer reviewers who file a report regarding the institution's resolution of those issues before a final certification decision is rendered.
In addition to Gutmann, Bellace and Bilsky, members of Penn's internal steering committee were:
Jeanne Arnold, Director of Affirmative Action
Mary Lee Brown, Vice President, Audit and Compliance
Carolyn Campbell-McGovern, Ivy League representative
Mary DiStanislao, Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Women's Administrator (SWA)
Robert Fox, Trustee and Chairman/CEO of R.A.F. Industries
Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Professor of Nursing
Edward Lally, faculty athletics representative and Professor of Pathology, Dental
Bernard Lentz, Director of Institutional Research and Analysis
William McCool, Associate Professor of Nursing
Joann Mitchell, Vice President and Chief of Staff, President's Office
Kenneth Shropshire, Professor and Chair of Legal Studies
Lee Stetson, Dean of Admissions
Amy Rublin, C'07
Ann Tiao, GSE