PURPOSE

The purpose of the Athletics Committee shall be to review the operation of the University’s intercollegiate athletics programs and assist the Board in carrying out its responsibility for oversight of those programs.

POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

(a) While retaining its ultimate responsibility for oversight of the University’s intercollegiate athletics programs, the Board has delegated direct responsibility for administration and control of the intercollegiate athletics programs to the Chancellor of each campus with an intercollegiate athletics program. The Board has also charged the President with general administrative oversight of the intercollegiate athletics programs and with holding the Chancellors accountable for their performance with respect to the intercollegiate athletics programs.

(b) Responsibilities of the Athletics Committee shall include the following:

  1. Reviewing and recommending to the Board mission statements for the athletics departments reflecting the University’s mission and academic values;
  2. Ensuring that the athletics departments are appropriately integrated into the general administrative structure of the campus in terms of finances, compensation and other employment practices, operating procedures, and accountability;
  3. Consulting with the President and the Chancellors on matters having a long-term impact on the operations, reputation, and standing of the intercollegiate athletics programs and consequently on The University of Tennessee System;
  4. In consultation with the President and Chancellors, recommending to the Board standards of accountability and benchmarks against which to measure the success of the intercollegiate athletics programs;
  5. Facilitating the Board’s role in maintaining institutional control and ensuring that Board members avoid involvement in the day-to-day operations of the intercollegiate athletics programs;
  6. Reviewing compliance with Board, institutional, conference and NCAA rules, regulations, or policies governing intercollegiate athletics, including the process for reporting and investigating alleged violations;
  7. Reviewing athletics department compliance with Title IX provisions concerning gender equity and compliance with other laws and regulations to which the institutions are subject;
  8. Understanding the financial model for the intercollegiate athletics programs, including the sources of funding, and monitoring the growth of direct and indirect institutional support for the programs;
  9. Reviewing and recommending to the Board, as part of the regular budget process, the athletics department budget, facilities plans, debt capacity, and student athletics fees;
  10. Reviewing annual reports from the Chancellors concerning the compensation and other terms of employment of the athletics directors and head coaches of sports;
  11. Reviewing the policies and standards concerning admissions, academic progress, and academic integrity for student-athletes to determine whether they are generally consistent with policies and standards for the general student body;
  12. Reviewing academic and other support services provided to student-athletes;
  13. Reviewing annual reports concerning grade point averages, academic progress, and retention and graduation rates for student-athletes and their comparison to the student body as a whole;
  14. Keeping the Board informed of significant changes in conference and NCAA rules, regulations, structures, and affiliations;
  15. Recommending to the Board any Board policies the Committee deems necessary for proper exercise of the Board’s oversight responsibilities with respect to the intercollegiate athletics programs;
  16. At the request of, and in coordination with, the Chancellors and other appropriate campus officials, assisting with public relations and fundraising in support of the athletics programs; and
  17. Recommending the kind of academic, fiscal, compliance, and other reports the full Board should receive on a regular basis concerning the intercollegiate athletics programs.

(c) In exercising their oversight responsibilities, members of the Athletics Committee must avoid involvement in the day-to-day operations of the intercollegiate athletics programs, including personnel matters and matters involving particular student-athletes.

MEMBERSHIP

The Athletics Committee shall be composed of the following Trustees: Vice Chair of the Board; Chair of the Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee; Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee; Chair of the Finance and Administration; and Chair of the Trusteeship Committee, all of whom shall serve as ex officio voting members. From time to time, the Vice Chair of the Board may recommend to the Board of Trustees that up to three additional Trustees with knowledge and experience that would be particularly beneficial to the Athletics Committee be appointed as at-large voting members. The President of the University shall serve as an ex officio non-voting member but shall not be counted for quorum purposes. The committee chair shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the Vice Chair of the Board and in accordance with the provisions of Article III of the Bylaws.

The Vice Chair of the Board shall designate one or more members of the senior administrative staff, or a designee of a member of the senior administrative staff, to provide staff support to the committee.

MEETINGS

Required and Called Meetings

The committee shall meet as often as necessary to carry out its responsibilities, but no less often than two times annually, in conjunction with regular meetings of the Board of Trustees or at any other time upon a call in accordance with the following provisions.

A meeting may be called by the Chair of the Board, the Vice Chair of the Board, the President, the committee chair, or by the Secretary of the Board upon the written request of two members of the committee.

Notice

Notice of committee meetings, including the purpose of the meeting, shall be given to all committee members. Notice may be given by regular mail, electronic mail, or facsimile transmission. At least five (5) days’ notice shall be given when feasible, but less notice may be given when there is a need for urgent action by the committee. If written notice is not feasible, by reason of urgency or other exigent circumstance, notice may be given by telephone.

All meetings of the committee shall be open to the public unless otherwise provided by the Tennessee Open Meetings Act or a judicially-recognized exception to the Act.

Agenda

An agenda shall accompany the notice of every meeting of the committee when feasible, but when not feasible, the notice shall state the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called.

Development of the committee agenda shall be the responsibility of the chair, in consultation with the President and designated committee staff. The agenda shall list in outline form each matter to be considered at the meeting. The committee may use a consent agenda in the manner provided by the Bylaws.

Matters not set forth on the agenda or in the notice may be considered only upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting membership of the committee.

Quorum

A quorum shall be a majority (more than one-half) of the voting members of the committee. The Vice Chair of the Board shall be counted for quorum purposes, but the President shall not be counted for quorum purposes. In the absence of a quorum, those attending may adjourn the meeting until a quorum is present.

Minutes

Committee staff shall prepare minutes of all committee meetings, review the minutes with the committee chair, and provide the minutes to all committee members before the next committee meeting.