Athletic Statement of Purpose

Policy number13-02
Responsible officeBoard of Trustees
Enforcement officialAthletic Administration
ClassificationBoard of Trustees Policy
Category13. Intercollegiate Athletics

Statement of policy

To establish the purpose and goals for the WMU athletic department as set forth by the WMU Board of Trustees.

Mission Statement 

The mission of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at Western Michigan University shall be to produce NCAA Division IA programs for men and women characterized by excellence in Athletics and Academics while being recognized as a leader among ethical, non- discriminatory, and fiscally well-managed departments. Excellence in athletic programs is determined by academic achievement, the development of character, maturity, and a sense of fair play by student-athletes while being competitive. Excellence in athletic programs is also intended to engender support for the institution among many constituents, including student, faculty, alumni, and friends at the local, state, and national levels. In striving to become a leader among peer institutions, the department subscribes fully to the philosophy and regulations set forth by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, the Mid-American Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics operates within the regulations and non-discriminatory procedures established by the Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University.

Athletic Goals 

The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has established specific goals, which are approved by the Athletic Board who reviews them on an annual basis. These goals are included in Divisional handbooks and include the following: 
  • To have the University represented by men and women whose conduct reflects credit upon the institution and who are bona fide full-time students making satisfactory progress toward a degree; 
  • To encourage scholarship, sportsmanship, and fair play; 
  • To develop among our students, faculty, staff, and spectators a sense of responsibility for proper conduct at athletic events; 
  • To field well-disciplined and competitive athletes and teams, recruited, coached, and supported by people who are dedicated to the observations of and compliance to all applicable rules; 
  • To schedule appropriate competition for the athlete and the team; 
  • To provide superior medical and personal support for all intercollegiate athletes; 
  • To update and maintain intercollegiate athletics befitting a major state university. 
  • To share the athletic experience with the community and University families, enhancing the multi-faceted relationships so vital to the University; and 
  • To provide effective direction according to University policies, including its Affirmative Action policy, and a commitment to minority representation at the University. 
  • To promote a climate of mutual respect with an appreciation for gender and cultural diversity 
  • To encourage ongoing evaluation of programs and services by promoting open communication and broad-based assessment by staff and student-athletes 

Philosophy and Objectives 

Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University has developed into one of the largest Universities in the state of Michigan; recognized by the state legislature as one of Michigan's five graduate-intensive research oriented public universities. WMU has earned national and international recognition for its high-quality teaching, graduate education and research, earning the designation as a Carnegie Doctoral/Research Extensive Institution, one of only four in the state of Michigan. The University shares with other institutions of higher learning the mission to discover, disseminate, extend, and preserve knowledge and culture and in fulfilling this responsibility, offer a comprehensive choice of degree programs to its students. Western Michigan University strives to increase students' capacity for intellectual growth and achievement, instill a commitment to learning and service to society, and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. Furthermore, the University serves the region as a major information and technology resource as well as playing a critical role in cultural, social, and economic development and enrichment. 


Student-athletes at Western Michigan University will be provided with the opportunity and encouraged to satisfactorily progress toward a degree. At the same time participate in an athletic program whose environment is consistent with high standards of academic scholarship, sportsmanship, and institutional loyalty.
The intercollegiate athletics program serves a variety of purposes in that it: 
  • Is an important part of a well-rounded state university dedicated to the service of its many constituents; 
  • Can and should develop character, maturity, and a sense of fair play and at the same time strive for athletic excellence; 
  • Is important in engendering support for the institution at the local and state levels; 
  • Fosters pride in the University among students, faculty, alumni, and friends; 
  • Generates revenue in part to support the total intercollegiate program; and 
  • Abides by the letter and the spirit of the law requiring non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, creed, or national origin. 


Integrating the mandates established by Western Michigan University, the Mid-American Conference, CCHA and the NCAA, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is guided by the following objectives: 
  • To employ coaches and other administrative staff members who are capable of performing as professionals in an educational community where high standards of integrity and ethical behavior, as well as sportsmanship, are expected of its members. 
  • To recruit student-athletes who are academically prepared for University work. 
  • To provide equal opportunities for both men and women by developing and sustaining programs, which help student-athletes, achieve their maximum academic and athletic potential. 
  • To operate its athletics program in a manner that enhances student-athletes educational opportunities. 
  • To provide financial aid to academically and athletically eligible students earning progress toward graduation, as defined by existing standards. 
  • To operate its sports programs at the highest possible level of intercollegiate athletics competition and seek to affiliate with institutions demonstrating a similar commitment to academic excellence and institutional integrity.
  • To promote character development in student-athletes, consistent with cooperation, teamwork, leadership qualities, group loyalty and the values of the University. 
  • To ensure student-athletes contribution to the development of institutional morale, loyalty and school spirit. 
  • To maintain the facilities and medical personnel necessary to augment the physical fitness and skill of the student-athletes, as well as to facilitate the recovery of those who are ill or injured. 
  • To make available educational substance abuse programs for all student-athletes as well as counseling for student-athletes who may experience instances of abuse. 
  • To use these athletic events as a means of wholesome recreational activity and entertainment for the participants, the student body and the community. 
  • To provide a means by which institutional alumni and the public at large identify with the University for mutually beneficial purposes. 
  • To operate within budgetary guidelines, thus ensuring fiscal integrity and a financially stable intercollegiate athletic program. 
The policies, procedures and practices, which are needed to accomplish these objectives, follow and constitute the body of this Manual. 


Intercollegiate Athletics Program

Western Michigan University believes that intercollegiate athletics are an important and healthy adjunct to the principle mission of the University. The University is committed to athletic opportunities for the student body as a whole and provides intercollegiate athletics for those student-athletes who have exceptional physical talent, a high degree of skill, and the commitment to pursue the objective of their chosen sport while pursuing an education.
In providing athletic opportunities for student-athletes, the University is committed to scheduling contests with peer institutions, which embrace comparable athletic and academic standards while providing the opportunity for strong competition. Although athletic competition is considered important, participants in intercollegiate athletics are first and foremost considered full-time students whose fundamental commitment is to obtain a fine education.
In endorsing the benefits of a strong intercollegiate athletics program, the University recognizes the importance of resources necessary to attain its goals. Although funding among varsity sports may vary, the provision of facilities, equipment, medical services, coaching skills and the like, is to be of uniform excellence for all intercollegiate sports as allowed within available financial resources.

Member Association Compliance

The University is an official member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). In creating Divisional policies and procedures, the Division complies with each member association's rules and regulations, so as to appropriately implement all policies recommended and demanded by these authorities. This commitment encompasses all facets of administration and coaching, as well as the operation of student-athlete activities.

Equal Employment and Opportunity

The University is committed to diversity and equal opportunity in employment and education. It is the policy and commitment of Western Michigan University not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin, height, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, or handicap in its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other pertinent state and federal regulations.
The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees, as well as the University President, Director of Athletics, and entire Division of Intercollegiate Athletics staff are wholly committed to both the letter and spirit of this aforementioned policy.


Effective date of current versionAugust 1, 2017
Date first adoptedJanuary 1, 1995
Proposed date of next reviewDecember 1, 2021