The UIS Community

A new kind of conversation addressing issues that UIS students and staff care about.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The significance of the NCAA

We learned recently that UIS will become a full active member of NCAA Division II on August 1. This is a huge step up for us -- a major addition for us and for the local community, if not all of Illinois, which didn't have a public university in Division II before. Don't get me wrong. We had a lot to be proud of before with our student-athletes; they represented us well, and our soccer teams won three NAIA national championships. They came to UIS to get a fine education, and they did well in the classroom, too. That's awesome. But coaches and players readily say that being in the NCAA will make a major difference when it comes to recruiting student-athletes and getting people to attend the games. We'll all slowly learn the significance of this in the next few years. I want to give a special salute to Rodger Jehlicka, director of Athletics, who oversaw a rigorous three-year process for us to get in, and to Ali Fitzgerald, our first compliance officer, who did an unbelievable amount of work to revamp our processes to get us into NCAA compliance. Ali resigned from this summer for Barry University in Miami, and we all wish her well.

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My 3 books

One of my favorite NPR features is called "Three Books." Listeners recommend three books explain why. Often there's a theme. Well, there is still half the summer for reading, and three books just stay with me: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith, and Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr. I keep them lying around. I'm the kind of reader who underlines and puts stars and asterisks in the margins. So sometimes, I just pick up one of these three, go to something I've marked, and find inspiration. Maybe I'll explain more about these books at some point, but for now, I just recommend them.

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