President Phil Schubert has appointed Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker, executive director of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning, to be the new chair of the steering committee for ACU’s self-study as it moved into full NCAA Div. I status.
The decision came after former executive vice president Dr. Allison Garrett accepted the presidential position at Emporia State on Oct. 22. Garrett was originally selected by Schubert to lead the steering committee, along with several subcommittees, through the self-study.
“After consulting with other senior leaders to determine who would have the appropriate experience and expertise in leading the steering committee, I believe that Dr. Shewmaker is an excellent choice and will do an outstanding job,” Schubert said. “I’m very confident that Dr. Shewmaker will make good, sound decisions as the chair of the steering committee. She is well respected among faculty and staff colleagues, and she has led three national self-studies for the graduate psychology program here at ACU. Dr. Shewmaker also serves as a reviewer for a national accrediting body. So these experiences, combined with her credibility among peers, position her for success as chair.”
Shewmaker will report directly to Schubert on the status of the committees during this process. She will also oversee all activity by the three subcommittees and their chairs.
“I am very familiar with the self-study process,” Shewmaker said. “Dr. Robert Rhodes asked me if I would be willing to serve as chair for the duration of our self-study process, and I am happy to do so.”
Slade Sullivan, vice president and general counsel, is head of the Governance and Commitment to Rules subcommittee. Dr. Eric Gumm, director of the First-Year Program, is chair of the academic integrity subcommittee. Chris Riley, vice president for student life, leads the gender/diversity issues and sudent athlete well-being subcommittee.
“We have a very strong team of students, staff and faculty on the committee,” Shewmaker said. “We are on schedule to complete the self-study in a timely manner. I plan to take up where Dr. Garrett left off in continuing to provide the team with the support that they need to get their job done, to collaborate with our NCAA representative to be sure that the team has all of the information that they need and to work closely with the steering committee to keep us on track and moving forward to completion.”
The self-study is a necessary requirement by the NCAA during the third year of a university’s transition into Div. I. The objective of the self evaluation is to ensure that ACU is consistent with the NCAA and the Southland Conference in terms of principles, rules and policies. It also intends to identify improvement opportunities that arise in areas that need be, as well as action plans for implementing change.
“One of the most important aspects of the NCAA self-study is demonstrating that the university as a whole is supportive of the process of moving to Div. I,” Shewmaker said. “I bring my experience in the classroom and in my research on issues of equity to the process. That gives me a unique perspective to be able to support ACU in developing policies and practices that provide all of our students with strong academic support and opportunities for success.”
After completion, ACU will present the study to the NCAA in hopes of earning a successful completion decision, and advanced into year four of the transition period.
“Although the self-study is not due until May 15, 2016, we have already made a ton of progress,” Athletic Director Lee De Leon said. “Our steering committee and three subcommittees have done a tremendous job collecting information about ACU and our Athletics Department to answer the questions that the NCAA has asked. In fact, we are already in the draft phase of our document and should be able to send our first round of drafts to the NCAA to review in January.”‹”