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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 8, 2011

Mason appoints two faculty athletics representatives

University of Iowa President Sally Mason has appointed two faculty athletics representatives to advise the president, monitor compliance with student athlete eligibility and other National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules, and serve as the UI’s institutional voice at national meetings and conferences.

Gene Parkin, professor in the College of Engineering, and Ellie Herman, a clinical professor in the College of Education, step into the role held for 10 years by Betsy Altmaier, also a professor in the College of Education.

Mason praised Altmaier’s commitment to the position and work over the past decade. But given the growing complexity of collegiate athletics rules and the need for open communication and cooperation between athletics and academics, Mason said she felt two faculty members should fill the role going forward.

“I am incredibly grateful to Betsy Altmaier, who has done an outstanding job representing the interests of our student athletes, our academic programs and our university,” Mason said. “We want students to succeed both on the field and court and in the classroom, and we need dedicated people to ensure that athletics and academics at the University of Iowa always complement, rather than compete with, one another. That is why I’m so pleased that Gene Parkin and Ellie Herman have stepped into this important role.”

A native of Rock Island, Ill., Herman received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Science degree in education from Western Illinois University, and a doctorate in exercise science from the University of Iowa.

Prior to her enrollment in the UI doctoral program, Herman taught for 14 years at the elementary and junior high levels in the Davenport Community School District and coached a number of sports, including basketball, volleyball and track. As a clinical professor in the College of Education, she serves as coordinator of student field experiences in the Office of Teacher Education and Student Services, and as a clinical professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Her research interests are supervision, mentoring and the effects of teacher preparation on teacher performance.

She has held leadership positions on state and national educational committees, including serving as chair of the Field Directors’ Forum for the Association of Teacher Educators. At the UI, she currently serves as the chair of the President’s Committee on Athletics and on the campus Recreation Committee.

Parkin, a native of Earlville, Iowa, received both his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from the UI, and a doctorate in environmental engineering from Stanford University.

He taught at Drexel University for eight years before joining the faculty at the UI in 1986. He has taught courses in biological treatment processes, environmental chemistry and environmental engineering design, among others. He has received the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion (1989) a UI Collegiate Teaching Award (1996), a Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (1999), the Marion L. Huit Award for Faculty Excellence (2010), and the President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence (2010). He also received the J. James R. Croes Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal from the Water Environment Federation. In 2003 he was named the Donald E. Bently Professor of Engineering.

His research has focused on the use of biological processes in treating wastewater, understanding the role of biological processes in the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment, and most recently on the use of more natural processes like constructed wetlands for sustainable wastewater treatment in small communities. He has served on a number of committees, including the NCAA Recertification Committee and the Presidential Committee on Athletics.

NCAA member institutions are required by the organization’s bylaws to appoint at least one faculty athletics representative, whose duties are determined by the institution. Some of the duties recommended by the national Faculty Athletics Representative Association (FARA) are:

--Principal advisor to the university president on all matters related to intercollegiate athletics.
--Institutional representative to the NCAA and conference.
--Interprets NCAA and conference legislation to university.
--Monitors the coordination of compliance efforts and rules education among campus entities outside athletics department.
--Monitors academic preparation and performance of each student-athlete.
--Facilitates and supports the development of a student-athlete advisory committee.
--Assists the president and athletics director in determining institutional positions on proposed NCAA and conference legislation.
--Facilitates communication among various campus entities, in particular between athletics department and faculty governance structure.

More information about FARA is available at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, UI spokesperson, 319-356-3945,