The autonomy of the Athletic Department and the authority of the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics may be altered to give more control to the University president if Lee Bollinger”s proposed changes to the Board of Regents” bylaws are approved by the regents at next month”s meeting.

“The Board in Control should be, and has been, unmistakably advisory the name should be changed to reflect that,” Bollinger said at yesterday”s meeting of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs.

“I think it is very important that this body continue to have academic control, but that all this is subject to the authority of the president.”

Bollinger said he hopes the bylaw changes will prevent the Athletic Department from becoming independent from the University community and its policies.

The changes would add two more faculty members, who would be appointed by the president, to the Board in Control and the SACUA chair would become a regular member.

“I think the general composition would be even stronger in terms of faculty presence,” Bollinger said.

“All of this is to make sure intercollegiate athletics don”t get out of control,” he added. “The Athletic Department is not an independent body within the University but is subject to University policies.”

Bollinger said he wants to limit the authority of the Board in Control to issues in which academic and financial concerns collide, such as extending the sports season for playoffs even when such a move could compromise students” academic life by conflicting with exams.

“The question of whether our football players should practice in a national playoff should not be rested in the board,” Bollinger said.

Although the amendments to the bylaws may create a stronger tie between the University and the Athletic Department, some SACUA members said they are concerned these changes could compromise the University”s Big Ten membership.

The NCAA Division I manual states that faculty should have the ultimate authority over the intercollegiate athletic program, and if their authority is violated the school could lose its membership in the Big Ten Conference.

“If the president is the one making the final decision, is there a reason why the president should seek the advice of the Board in Control?” said SACUA member John Riebesell, a professor of natural science at the University”s Dearborn campus.

Bollinger said that although changes to the bylaws will place more power in the hands of the president, he does not believe the Board in Control”s concerns will be ignored or that the University”s Big Ten membership will be compromised.

Bollinger said his proposed amendments to the bylaws are one of the final things he hopes to accomplish before stepping down as University president to become chief executive of Columbia University. “I”d like to try and wrap this thing up before I go,” he said. “I want to get it clarified for the future.”

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