Faculty Athletics Representatives

Division III Faculty Athletics Representatives (FAR) Advisory Group

The mission of the Division III Faculty Athletics Representatives Advisory Group is to advise the Division III governance committees, NCAA staff, the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA), the Division III Faculty Athletics Representative Institute and others to help guide the development of education models and resources, engagement opportunities and potential Division III legislation related to Division III FARs.

Reporting Line

The Advisory Group will report to the Division III Management Council. The currently appointed FARs on the Management Council will deliver the reports.

Structure

The FAR Advisory Group is composed of eight members including:

  • Two FARs currently appointed to the Division III Management Council.
  • Two FARs currently serving on the FARA Executive Committee and not currently appointed to the Division III Management Council.
  • One Division III Conference Commissioner.
  • One Division III Director of Athletics.
  • One Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member.
  • One at-large position.

The Chair of the Advisory Group will be one of the FARs appointed to the Division III Management Council.

Meeting Frequency

At a minimum, the group will hold quarterly teleconferences timed appropriately in order to provide a report to the Division III Management Council at their quarterly meetings.

Potential Advisory Group Activities

  • Provide guidance on the promotion of The Highly Engaged FAR materials.
  • Advise the Division III FAR Institute Steering Committee on the Institute’s educational model and related materials.
  • Advise FARA on potential Division III programming at the FARA Fall Meetings.
  • Advise Division III staff on FAR-related programming at NCAA events such as the National Convention, Regional Rules Seminars, and Conference Rules Seminars.
  • Provide guidance to the Division III Management Council as it related to proposed legislation and policy that has a potential impact on FAR’s or where an FAR perspective is needed.

 

Division III FAR Information and Resources

Division III is a leader in supporting the role of the faculty athletics representative (FAR) in governance, strategic planning, establishing academic standards, and, most importantly, advocating for student-athletes. Because faculty athletics representatives are such a vital link in any Division III institution’s strategic communications chain, FARs can help explain in a positive manner the complex relationship between intercollegiate athletics and higher education.

“I strongly believe in the role of the FAR as the hub of the athletic-academic connection for an institution. Although the AD hires all coaches and the coaches must carry out the academic focus of their players, the FAR is my central coordinator and communicator among all groups at the college – each athletics team, new faculty as a part of faculty orientation, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the college President, the President’s Cabinet, and Faculty.” - Kenneth Garren, President at Lynchburg College

The Division III FAR…

  • Helps to ensure a quality student-athlete experience and promote student-athlete well-being.
  • Serves as an independent advocate for student-athletes.
  • Assists in the oversight of intercollegiate athletics at the campus and conference levels to assure that they are conducted in a manner designed to protect and enhance the physical, psychological, and educational well-being of student-athletes.
  • Oversees the nominations of student-athletes for NCAA grant, scholarship, and recognition programs.
  • Helps promote student-athlete success in the classroom, in athletics, and in the community by striking a balance among academic excellence, athletics competition, and social growth as they prepare for lifelong success.

Division III FAR Advisory Group

In 2018, the Division III Management Council endorsed the creation of the Division III FAR Advisory Group. The group’s mission is to serve as an advisory group to Division III governance committees, NCAA staff, the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA), the Division III Faculty Athletics Representative Institute and others to help guide the development of education models and resources, engagement opportunities and potential Division III legislation related to Division III FARs. The Advisory Group reports to the Division III Management Council.

Committee Proceedings:

Working group seeks more engagement from DIII FARs

Kurt Beron, a Texas-Dallas economics professor, has served as the school’s faculty athletics representative since 2000.

The Role of the FAR in Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Health and Wellness

FARs are uniquely positioned to help develop a caring and supportive campus environment that fosters student-athlete mental health and wellness. Participants at the 2015 Division II FAR Advanced Leadership Institute developed best practices to contribute to an informed and engaged campus that provides a safe and supporting environment for all student-athletes. See the full report here.

The Issue

Among the myriad challenges facing student-athletes today, the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees in all three divisions say that mental health and wellness is by far their primary concern.

Mental health issues are a priority for multiple departments on campuses. However, because faculty athletics representatives function as a bridge between the academic and athletics sectors on campus, FARs are uniquely positioned to help shepherd a process that provides a safe and supporting environment for all student-athletes.

Be a Champion

As FARs advocate for student-athletes in all aspects of their collegiate experience, it makes sense for FARs to also champion their mental health and well-being.

FARs interact with student-athletes regularly in the classroom, during advising and office hours, and even while observing them in competition. As such, FARs may notice changes in their student-athletes’ academic performance, attendance, mood or attitude, or other forms of behavior.

Also, as FARs are in an advocacy position, student-athletes may seek them as a sounding board or shoulder to lean on to discuss issues that affect their mental health and well-being. Prepare to be there for them if that occurs!

How FARs Can Help

It is not incumbent upon the FAR to serve as a counselor or psychology professional, nor is the FAR expected to have training or expertise when it comes to the continuum between mental illness and mental health.

However, FARs can take the following actions to be as informed as possible regarding student-athlete mental health issues.

  • First, be up to speed on the issues. Participate in training on campus relative to recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health issues. Some institutions offer QPR (Question Persuade Refer) for suicide prevention training to students. Other campuses (or even larger communities) offer programs like Mental Health First Aid, where the goal is to teach “lay people” some of the basics about mental health. The programs are typically brief (1.5-2 hours) and set a comfortable tone for discussing these concerns.  
  • Second, serve as a conduit to the current and potential resources on campus. FARs can help influence the culture on campus by recognizing stakeholders who may need more education and training regarding the mental health services that are available to the student-athletes they serve.

Reach Out To Campus Constituents

FARs can help educate the campus community on mental health and wellness issues, providing access to best practices, and coordinating the creation of a more informed and engaged campus community.

Here are some suggestions for collaborating with various campus constituents:

The Faculty Assembly or Faculty Senate. The importance of mental health to academic success is well documented, but the differences for student-athletes and their specific injuries and concerns can be misunderstood. The FAR should:

  • Partner with mental health professionals on campus to provide practical information for early recognition of possible mental health issues.
  • Apprise faculty with respect to the educational and emotional needs of student-athletes in and out of the classroom, particularly with respect to mental health and sport injuries.
  • Mental health problems can affect academic performance; thus, it is imperative for FARs and faculty at large to be engaged in mental health awareness programs and in creating an environment that encourages discussion and support.

Counseling/Athletic Training/Medical Services. The FAR should be informed about the coordination and integration of the activities and resources related to medical care of student-athletes:

  • Discuss and/or encourage the creation of a uniform protocol for responding, treating and supporting student-athletes and their specific concerns.
  • Help mental health professionals educate the broader campus community about identifying and managing student-athlete mental health issues.

Student-Athletes and the SAAC. The FAR should work with the campus SAAC to:

  • Facilitate sending information and resources to athletes and teams.
  • Encourage SAAC to more actively empower student-athletes to care for themselves and their peers.
  • Create an environment in which student-athletes in distress are more likely to seek help.
  • Special attention should be given to informing and educating freshman student-athletes about the new situations they may experience as college athletes, on ways to manage their personal health, and on available support systems.

Coaches/Athletics Department. The FAR should:

  • Help coordinate information transfer to coaches and staff within the athletics department, ideally by arranging service training from medical and medical health experts on campus.
  • Help raise awareness among coaches concerning misunderstood mental health problems student-athletes may face.
  • Assess the existing culture of the teams and the athletics department as a whole to actively develop and maintain a positive athletics environment.
  • Work to promote an enhanced culture of inclusion, safety and sportsmanship.

For more resources, visit www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/sport-science-institute.

 

Division II FAR Resources

Division II is a leader in supporting the role of the faculty athletics representative (FAR) in governance, strategic planning, establishing academic standards, and, most importantly, advocating for student-athletes.

Because faculty athletics representatives are such a vital link in any Division II institution’s strategic communications chain, FARs can help explain in a positive manner the complex relationship between intercollegiate athletics and higher education.

  • FARs are uniquely positioned to articulate the benefits of intercollegiate athletics to faculty, the media and the public. 
  • FARs bring the academic perspective and priorities to the discussion, providing a fresh point of view to reporters and broadcasters who are accustomed to interacting only with athletics administrators and coaches.

As such, FARs help promote Division II’s “Life in the Balance,” as they champion student-athlete academic success and help ensure the quality of the athletics experience.

FARs are encouraged to take advantage of the resources on this page to help improve service to student-athletes and enhance their experience as a leader in Division II.

Division II celebrates 10 years of FAR Institutes

In 2001, Diane Husic was president of the Faculty Athletics Representative Association and a professor and former college athlete who knew well the unique challenges facing FARs. She had been serving in the FAR capacity at a Division II campus since 1989 and understood that, by its nature, the faculty liaison role was a “one-man or one-woman show.”

Speaking From Experience

Alan Hauser hopes his words of wisdom help other faculty athletics representatives advocate for student-athletes.

The More Things Change …

Faculty reps' athletics involvement predates the NCAA, but their organization is just 25 years old.

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