The University faculty’s governing body delayed until next month a vote on a resolution urging University President Mary Sue Coleman to stop the Athletic Department’s practice of offering to pay for bowl game trips for faculty on a student-athlete oversight committee.
The resolution, proposed by physics Prof. Keith Riles, pertains to an internal University audit from July 2007 that says there “may appear to be a conflict of interest” with the Athletic Department’s practice of offering to pay for airfare, hotel accommodations, ticket costs and meals for faculty members who serve on the Academic Performance Committee (APC), which rules on individual student-athlete eligibility cases.
Riles wrote in an e-mail that the vote was pushed back to the Senate Assembly’s December meeting because little time had passed since he proposed the resolution at the Oct. 27 meeting.
He said the Senate Assembly had invited Athletic Director Bill Martin to attend the meeting to discuss the practice.
The audit, recently obtained by The Michigan Daily, says the Athletic Department paid the expenses of seven of the 10 APC members for the 2006-2007 academic year to attend the 2007 Rose Bowl “as guests of the Athletic Department.”
Although the Assembly’s executive committee, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, unanimously agreed upon the audit’s release that the practice should be reviewed, no action has been taken apart from Riles’s resolution.
University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham said University Provost Teresa Sullivan has taken the audit’s findings “under advisement.” However, Sullivan, who oversees all academic issues at the University, has no plans to change the practice, Cunningham said.