NCAA Division I Certification
Courtesy: NDSU Athletics
          Release: May 12, 2007
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In August 2006, North Dakota State University President Joseph A. Chapman announced that NDSU would begin a year-long, campus wide effort to study the athletic program as a part of the NCAA Division I certification program.  The certification program’s purpose is to help ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics operations.  As a result of this study, there has been an increased campus wide awareness and knowledge of the athletics program, a confirmation of the strength of the athletic program, and a plan developed for improvement in areas of concern.  The specific areas covered in the study are: academic integrity; governance; rules compliance; equity; diversity; and student-athlete welfare.



The steering committee was comprised of a cross section of individuals and included President Chapman; Committee Chair Prakash Mathew, Vice President of Student Affairs; and members of the university faculty and staff; community members; and athletics department personnel. The committee subdivided into three working committees and two task forces:

  • Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance (Dr. Michael Kelsch, chair);
  • Academic Integrity (Dr. Tim Sellnow and Dr. Kristi Wold-McCormick, co-chairs);
  • Gender Equity Task Force (Dr. Sandra Holbrook, chair);
  • Diversity Task Force (Dr. Gene Berry, chair);
  • Student-Athlete Welfare (Dr. Kate Haugen and Mr. Casey Peterson, co-chairs).

The study process included a review of a substantial and wide variety of data, university policies and procedures, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act reports for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 and other relevant documents.  In addition, the committee participated in on-site tours and gathered data through personal interviews with athletic administrators, coaches, athletic department heads, student-athletes, university personnel, and external constituents.


Nearly 90 individuals, internal and external to the university, were actively engaged in the self-study.  Additionally, several groups were consulted by subcommittee members throughout the year including the NDSU Alumni Association Executive Committee and Board, NDSU Development Foundation, President’s Cabinet, President’s Council, Staff Senate, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Student Government, Team Maker’s Executive Committee and Board, University Athletic Committee, and University Senate. 


Using the NCAA Self-Study Instrument as the template, and the measurable standards for each of the five operating principles of the association, observations and comments were developed. The Steering Committee is in the process of developing conclusions and recommendations to be presented as action items.  Fulfillment of these action items within each of the five operating principles will continue the advancement of NDSU in Division I.



Upon completion of the draft report, the five subcommittees were asked for a thorough review of the study. This review is ongoing.  Further, a memo was sent to selected groups from the Steering Committee inviting feedback on the results of the self-study.  The draft report is available online at


Outside comments also are welcomed and can be sent directly to Steering Committee Chair Prakash Mathew, Vice President for Student Affairs, Old Main 100, or via e-mail at



The next phase of the certification process, after receipt of input and finalization of the report and action items, is to forward the report to the NCAA by May 1, 2007. The final phase is an on site visitation by a peer review team. This team will be on campus of North Dakota State University October 2007.


The intent of the peer review visit is to determine the certification status of the athletics program based on the self-study report and supporting materials provided by the institution, and by the observations of the peer review team.  They will access levels of strength and areas of deficiencies.


There are three certification options available to the peer review team.  The three options of certification status are certified, certified with conditions, and not certified.  While NDSU will have an opportunity to correct deficient areas, institutions that do not take corrective actions may be ruled ineligible for NCAA championships.



NCAA Web site on Athletics Certification






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