Same Job, Different Views

Craig Chandler, University Communications

Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto
October 31, 2010

Nearly 40 percent of Division I faculty athletics representatives do not have a job description, according to a 2008 report, and many have different views of their position. Below, one current and one former faculty representative—both former chairs of the NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions—describe how they see the faculty rep's job, and how long people should serve in the role.

Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto, law professor and faculty athletics representative, U. of Nebraska

The job:

It "sounds like someone who represents the faculty. That's not the case. We are faculty, but we can step back and look at the whole enterprise in a way much more like presidents do."

Term limits:

"Everyone else is there long-term. For the faculty rep to be the one coming in and out, constantly behind the ball, it's not a healthy picture for institutional control. To know who to talk to and to gain their trust can take years."

Gene A. Marsh, emeritus professor of law and former faculty representative, U. of Alabama

The job:

"The nature of the job, with the highlight on the word 'faculty,' means you should be fully engaged as a faculty member, and not someone who drifts off and becomes essentially an athletics administrator."

"Since it's a regulatory role, it's better to have some turnover. Some faculty reps lose their identity as a faculty member. I don't think it's healthy to have that position parked with one person indefinitely."