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NCAA announces recertification of WMU athletics

April 25, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's bid for recertification by the National Collegiate Athletic Association has met with success, according to an NCAA announcement issued April 15.

The association's Committee on Athletics Certification announced that WMU is one of 35 Division I schools around the nation to be fully certified in the association's second cycle of athletics certification. The NCAA decision follows a process that began on the WMU campus in summer 2006 and included a detailed self-study as well as a site visit by peer evaluators that took place last November. The entire process is designed to ensure the University is in compliance with the NCAA's commitment to integrity in intercollegiate athletics.

"I'm very pleased with the NCAA decision and consider it a well-deserved endorsement of the quality and integrity of the experience we offer our student athletes," said WMU President John M. Dunn of the announcement. "The certification process is arduous, but ultimately rewarding, as it provides an opportunity for us to gauge our progress in important areas and prompts the development of strategies for additional improvements in the future."

Dr. Eileen Evans, WMU vice provost for institutional effectiveness, led an 18-person steering committee responsible for the campus' response to the NCAA requirements for certification. The group met over the course of a year to conduct a self-evaluation and prepare a written report to verify and document that WMU's policies, procedures and applications meet or exceed the NCAA's rules and regulations. The committee's work revolved around the NCAA's three major areas of focus for recertification: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; and equity and student-athlete well-being.

NCAA certification began with a pilot project in which WMU participated in 1990 and was approved for all Division I members at the NCAA's 1993 convention. WMU was fully certified in 1999 and, like all Divsion I members, is on a 10-year recertification cycle.

"We got involved in certification early because we know the process will make our programs stronger and benefit our students," says Kathy Beauregard, WMU director of athletics. "It's always a proud moment when open dialog occurs to ensure our athletic mission matches that of the institution. Certification really emphasizes and validates our academic mission and student-athlete welfare.

Beauregard says she's especially proud of and grateful for the Universitywide participation in the process.

"I really am thankful to the faculty and staff members, the athletic staff and athletic board members, and the community at large for providing the time and input that made this process a success," she says.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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