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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 14, 2005

Skorton Announces Actions On Athletics Merger

University of Iowa President David Skorton today announced the actions he has taken in response to the report of the Athletics Merger Review Committee chaired by University Faculty Athletics Representative and Professor Elizabeth Altmaier.

Following receipt of the report, Skorton requested and received comprehensive commentary from Athletics Director Robert Bowlsby and from Vice Provost Pat Cain, chair of the university's NCAA Recertification Steering Committee.

The president's actions include directing the athletics department to work with the UI's Human Resources office on organizational effectiveness and to review all athletics job descriptions with added responsibilities for student-athlete welfare and racial and gender equity.

Skorton also stated that a review will be done in one year to determine the effectiveness of the actions to be taken.

The complete text of Skorton's response to the merger review committee can be downloaded as a PDF file at:

In a memo accompanying his decisions, Skorton thanked Athletics Director Bob Bowlsby and his staff for their review of the merger report. The UI president also repeated his thanks to Altmaier and her colleagues on the Merger Review Committee.

"The key conclusion of the committee, with which I wholeheartedly agree, is that we need to continue to make measurable progress in improving opportunities for women in athletics and in improving the climate within which this progress is made," Skorton wrote.

"This is part of the larger endeavor to do everything we can as an institution to advance gender equity and the opportunities for full and meaningful participation of women in activities throughout the campus. Within the athletics activities of the UI, I have recently reviewed and approved our five-year gender equity plan, developed under the leadership of Professor and Vice Provost Pat Cain, who chairs the NCAA Recertification Steering Committee. Through Professor Cain's leadership and that of Bob Bowlsby, we have developed a road map for substantial further progress in gender equity. That road map and the recommendation of the Merger Review Committee must be viewed together, as they direct our efforts along the same path."

The Athletics Merger Review Committee was appointed by Skorton in the fall of 2004 to review the merger of the UI men's and women's athletics programs, which took place in August of 2000. He requested the review in accordance with expectations expressed at the time of the merger and as an aid to a UI self-study being conducted in preparation for the NCAA re-certification process currently under way.

The committee was asked to study a variety of issues, including assessments of the climate for female athletes, staff and coaches; equitable allocation of financial and other resources; authority exercised by the position of senior women's athletics administrator as proposed by the original task force that recommended the merger; the athletics department's leadership in serving as an advocate for women's programs; and the role of women in the leadership/organizational structure of the athletics program.

The full report of the merger review committee is available at the web site for the merger review:

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972