Why Should My Institution Join?

COIA is a national, grass-roots faculty governance organization whose goal is to promote comprehensive reform of intercollegiate sports. Our membership consists of FBS (Division 1A) campus faculty governance bodies (i.e., faculty senates or equivalent), not individual faculty. COIA is the only national organization of campus faculty governance bodies on any issue. Our current membership includes faculty senates from 57 of the 115 FBS (Division 1A) institutions with faculty senates. We work by means of flexible consensus, guided by the values and principles articulated in our policy papers. We generally present our recommendations as best practices that campuses can use to guide their local athletic governance.

A hallmark of the COIA is that we are respectful of institutional differences and embrace our differences as strength rather than a weakness. We do not require lockstep agreement – it is likely that no single member senate agrees with every one of the many proposals and best practice standards the COIA membership has adopted. Our internal governance structure is informal. The two co-chairs and our 15-member nationalsteering committee work together to provide direction for the COIA on a day to day basis. Papers, major issues and policies are discussed and decided by the entire membership.

An important COIA work product has been our papers and reports on intercollegiate sports reform. These have demonstrated our commitment to sports reform issues and have generated broad interest at the local, conference and national levels. Our most recent paper, “Framing the Future: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics” adopted by the general COIA membership in June 2007, lays out a comprehensive reform agenda and proposes28 specific reforms aimed at the local, conference and/or national levels.

We have developed strong working ties with the NCAA, the Knight Commission, the Division 1A Faculty Athletics Representatives and many other national groups involved in intercollegiate sports. We are currently working closely with the NCAA to put forward several proposals fromFraming the Future for adoption by the NCAA through its legislative and/or Certification processes.

Our 20010 efforts include working with the Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University to develop a national survey instrument that will assess and compare the integration of athletics into the academic goals and mission of NCAA FBS schools.

How Can My Institution Join?

Full membership in COIA is limited to NCAA FBS (formerly Division IA) schools. Becoming a member of COIA simply requires a vote of the faculty governing body.

There are no obligations to membership in the COIA; there are no dues, and participation in our annual meetings is completely voluntary. The internal processes and procedures we use are set for in our by-laws. We encourage and hope for active participation from all our members. We do not require lockstep agreement–indeed no single member senate agrees with every one of the many proposals and best practice standards the Coalition membership has adopted. We work through flexible consensus, guided by values and principles as set forth in our policy papers and reports.

Member senates appoint a COIA representative to be a liaison between the COIA and the faculty senate. This may or may not be the current senate president/chair. The institutional COIA representative receives all COIA communications and is strongly encouraged to participate in our on-line discussions and annual meetings.  If the COIA representative is not the current faculty senate president/chair, the latter also receives all COIA information and is welcome to participate in all COIA discussions.

For additional information, please feel free to contact our current chair, Mike Bowen (University of South Florida).

Leave a Comment