September 27, 2006


ATTENDING:  Jim Antes, Ron Brinkert, Tom Bunning, Richard Clay, Judy DeMers, Cindy Flom-Meland, Susan Jeno, Donna Pearson, Betty Ralston, Lowell Schweigert, Bruce Smith, Brian Strom


Recorder:  Bev Hopman


Ray Diez called the meeting to order at 7:03 a.m. in the Edna Twamley Room in Twamley Hall.    


Minutes:  Sue Jeno moved the minutes from the April 26, 2006, be approved as submitted.  Lowell Schweigert seconded.  Motion carried.


Department Updates:


Tom Buning welcomed everyone and updated the committee on the Department of Athletics very busy summer.  16 Sioux-per Swing golf tournaments were held in North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona and Calgary, Alberta.  The Sioux-per Swings are an excellent way to generate goodwill and update the alumni on what’s happening within the Athletic Department. 


Tom Buning gave the following updates on athletic reclassification.  In June, President Kupchella announced UND’s intention to move all of the athletic programs to Division I.   The  President stated that UND  would begin its exploratory year in 2007.  The reclassification committee has established four sub-committees.  They are: 1)Education – to inform and educate the public, constituents, alumni and shareholders on the DI process, revenues and costs  2)Business Plan – to develop a workable financial plan  3)Athletic Organization – will work very closely with those developing the business plan  4)Fundraising – to identify and develop additional sources of revenue.  The full reclassification committee has met and requested an RFP for a consultant to be hired to assist with the development of a comprehensive plan for the move to Division I.  Tom Buning stressed that it is important for UND to “do it right” when they make the move to DI.  The reclassification committee has recommended that President Kupchella send a letter to the NCC declaring UND’s intent to move to DI. 


Tom Buning distributed a form titled NCAA Reclassification Timeline.  2012 will be the first year that UND will be eligible for NCAA DI post season play.  Sue Jeno asked if this would affect the men’s and women’s hockey teams.  Tom Buning said it would not affect hockey’s eligibility to participate in post season.  Ray Diez said it was his understanding that one sport could be moved up to DI right away.  Tom Buning said that one men’s sport and one women’s sport would be allowed to move up and could accelerate the program.  At this time, there are no plans for UND to move any team up to DI early.  However, as of 2007-08, all teams will be following the DI standards.


Several conferences are being looked at, including the Big Sky and Midcontinent.  Big Sky has some historical ties to UND and is considered a powerhouse in DIAA.  However, Big Sky supports only 13 of the 18 sports in which UND currently participates.  Midcontinent competes in all of UND’s sports with the exception of football.  But the commissioner of the Midcontinent conference is also the commissioner of the Great West Football Conference. 


Jim Antes asked about funding from student fees?  Tom Buning said there has been no movement on student fees to date.  He did state that if students paid an additional $46 per semester in student fees, it would generate over $1,000,000 in revenue for Athletics. 


Judy DeMers asked what percentage of the additional funds would come from alumni, student fees, etc..  Tom Buning said the burden would be shared equally.  Currently UND Athletics receives only 28% of the budget from the University.  UND’s peer institutions in DIAA receive 40+%.  Much of the athletic income is generated from tickets sales, which may be affected when the teams move to DI and are not as competitive.  The consultant will be asked to suggest ways to minimize the risk.


Sue Jeno stated there is serious concern within the University community that the move to Division I will be made at the expense of the academic departments.  She said Athletics needs to work with faculty to educate them and not build barriers.


Budget:  Tom Buning reported that Athletics started FY06 with a $700,000 projected deficit.  With personnel cuts, cuts in operating budgets and stronger than expected revenues from REA, Athletics finished the year with a balanced budget.  A realistic budget is in place for FY07. 


Compliance/Student Life:  Betty Ralston passed out copies of the student-athlete handbook.  The book includes information on student-athletes responsibilities, eligibility, financial aid, practice rules, recruiting policies, and banned substances.  It also contains information on Sports Medicine, Media Relations, athletic boosters, student services and athletic contact information.


Betty Ralston gave the following updates. 


Informational sessions were held at the beginning of the school year for all student-athletes.  Betty Ralston conducted compliance sessions and presentations were also given by Sandra Geddes, Wellness Center - Substance Abuse; Anthony Kirchmeier, Dean of Students Office; and Don Rasmuson, UND Police. 


Betty Ralston reported on the UND graduation rate.  The all-student rate for 1999-00 freshmen was 56%.  The student-athlete rate for the same time frame was 70%.   More information will be available after Sept. 28 when the hockey APR is due. 


Four laptop computers have been purchased by Athletics for student-athletes to check out to use on road trips.  As UND moves to Division I, the plan is to have a student-athlete study lounge.


Athletics has started a Scholar Athlete of the Month program.  One male and one female student-athlete will be honored each month. 


Funds from the Choices grant will used to fund a speaker on October 3.  Randy Haveson will be at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center and speak on alcohol and substance abuse in his Party With a Plan presentation.   Student-athletes will also be assisting with alcohol free tailgating.


Betty Ralston will be meeting with Getting Started personnel to develop a plan to assist student-athletes with registration.  Athletics will join with Enrollment Services to provide a presence at the Open House events to answer questions on NCAA eligibility.


Sue Jeno said that Red River High School students received information on DI eligibility.  She asked if there was anything published or available statewide.   Betty Ralston said material has been given to all of the coaches.  The information will also be available on the new athletic website.  Judy DeMers suggested the NDHSA could get the word out that UND will be recruiting using DI standards, not DII.  Betty Ralston said she would talk with Kenton Pauls in Enrollment Services to help get the eligibility information out to the high schools.


New Business:


IAC Chair:   Ray Diez called for nominations for the 2006-07 chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee.  Judy DeMers moved that Ray Diez serve a second term as chair of the committee.  Lowell Schweigert moved the nominations close.  Motion carried.


Meeting Times:  Several members stated that 7:00 a.m. was not a good time for them to attend meetings.  It was decided that for the first semester, meetings will be held on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m.   The dates selected were Oct. 17, Nov. 21 and Dec. 12.  Bev Hopman will contact everyone with the meeting locations.


Season Ticket Renewals:  Tom Buning reported that season ticket renewals are at 100%.  UND staff and faculty members receive a 20% discount on season tickets, but they no longer receive a discount on Fighting Sioux Club membership. 


Website:  Tom Buning reported that UND Athletics will be implementing a new website as soon as clearance is received from UND’s legal counsel.  The website will offer many new features including an electronic version of Sioux Illustrated and a computer based ticket exchange. 


Student Hockey Seating:  Ray Diez asked if there were any changes in student seating for men’s hockey.  Tom Buning replied that student seating has not been relocated.  However, two small sections were added in the upper bowl to allow students to stand while play is in progress.  Unsold student tickets will be sold as a “buyer beware” for that area.  Tom Buning also reported that the student season ticket sales through Ticketmaster went very well on the second attempt.  The season tickets were sold out in record time.  He indicated that 800 students came to pick up their tickets on Sept. 26 and another distribution session would be held on Sept. 26.


The meeting adjourned at 8:22 a.m.