President Gottfredson announced today his intention to create a new, interim committee to oversee the university’s athletic department.
“It has become necessary for me to appoint an advisory group to provide advice and recommendations on intercollegiate athletic issues,” Gottfredson said via email to faculty senate president Margie Paris. “As you know, the chair of the University Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC), has made this recommendation.”
In the email, Gottfredson mentions that the primary goals of the group are to advise, and this measure is just in the interim until the faculty senate decides what to do with the IAC, and that he “invites nominations” for members of the new committee from the senate.
“It is critical that the university have an advisory group, one that operates such that all members can participate in an environment free of the numerous problems the chair clearly identifies in his report to the senate,” Gottfredson said in the email
The IAC has been hamstrung by infighting for most of the year, the majority of the disagreements stemming from confusion over whether the committee has the right to serve as a watchdog group or rather act as a sounding board for the athletic department. The committee’s current chair, UO law professor Rob Illig, reported to the faculty senate on April 9 that the committee was a house divided and recommended that a second committee be created.
“Because it is trying to do both, it is accomplishing neither,” Illig said in the report.
While the email mentions nothing about dismantling the IAC in its current form, the move seems to aim to create another committee to effectively supplant the IAC — which hasn’t met since Feb. 27 — and wrest the committee’s main function as the main line of communication between the athletic department and the university at large.