"Welcome to these pages that celebrate the academic accomplishments of Penn State student-athletes. We are so very proud of our student-athletes and are pleased that we can share their "off-field" accomplishments with you. The information contained in these pages will highlight student-athlete academic and service honors and activities; describe faculty oversight of student-athlete academic progress, health and welfare; provide statistics on student-athlete graduation and academic performance information; and provide general news related to academics and service.
It is my pleasure and honor to serve as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) for Division 1 sports at Penn State, a role in which I've served since July 2010. The position of the FAR is mandated by the NCAA with the main purposes to oversee and contribute to: academic integrity and general well-being of student-athletes, institutional control of intercollegiate athletics, and the student-athlete experience. At Penn State, the FAR is a presidential appointment following nomination by the Committee on Committees and Rules of the Faculty Senate.
The FAR job is multi-faceted. One of my roles is as the primary liaison between the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) and the Faculty Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. Other roles include: certifying student-athletes' eligibility for practice and competition with the Registrar's Office, Morgan Center staff, and ICA compliance staff; approving waivers for outside competition; and working with the Big Ten and NCAA on proposed legislation to develop an institutional position on such matters. For more information about the Faculty Senate Policy 67-00, Athletic Competition that governs intercollegiate athletics please see here. To see academic eligibility requirements for student-athletes, please click here.
Every August, I present a report to the entire Faculty Senate about student-athlete eligibility, actions taken by the Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, as well as academic highlights and other academic information regarding student-athletes. Please click here for the most recent annual reports.
The content of these academic pages illustrates the notion of One Team, which is embraced by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. One of the best examples of how the One Team spirit is manifested is by recognizing the vast support network that facilitates student-athlete academic success at Penn State. Naturally student-athletes are at the ones who, in the end, must perform in the classroom. But there are many others who support and educate them.
It begins with coaches recruiting student-athletes who can excel at Penn State academically and athletically and continues as coaches work with student-athletes and academic counselors at the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student Athletes (MASCSA or also known as the Morgan Center) so that student-athletes can enroll in the majors they wish to and are able to balance class schedules with practice and competition schedules. Please visit here. to learn more about the support and operations of the Morgan Center.
There are countless other sport administrators and support staff from MASCSA and ICA that work with student-athletes on a daily basis to provide excuse cards, secure various forms of transportation to get to and from away competitions, and in general deal with multiple issues that arise. Again, this is a One Team effort.
Penn State faculty members have been overwhelmingly supportive of student-athletes, even though they are often challenged to provide make-up examinations and make other accommodations. Although faculty members are mandated through Faculty Senate Policy 67-00, Athletic Competition, to excuse student-athletes for approved competitions, it is challenging for student-athletes and professors to make it work. I am impressed at how well most student-athletes have learned to balance their academic and athletic lives.
Departmental and college academic advisors are also part of the One Team effort. They work closely with the MASCSA staff to make sure student-athletes are taking the courses they need to keep them on track for eligibility as well as for continuing progress toward graduations.
Thank you for visiting this page and I hope that you are as inspired by our student-athlete academic accomplishments as I am."
- Linda Caldwell, NCAA FAR, Division I