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Chancellor weighs D-1 move; decision set for next week

By Lisa Lapin on March 7, 2003 in University

The chancellor’s decision regarding a possible move from Division II to the Division I Big West athletic conference — which includes the UC Irvine, Santa Barbara and Riverside campuses — is expected to come early next week.

Initially the campus was to provide the conference with an answer by March 1, but the chancellor asked the Big West for a deadline extension to give him time to fully consider recently received input, esecially from the faculty and the Academic Senate.    

Last week, Senate faculty members voted 556 to 271 in opposition to a move from Division II to Division I. Their vote is advisory to the chancellor.

“This sense of the faculty is something that I will have to very carefully consider,” said Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. “But it is not the only report or consensus that I have to be thinking about.

“There are two Senate reports that came only after careful deliberation by members of those two committees. There is the perspective of the Athletics Administrative Advisory Committee. And there are the views of those who are most intimately involved in athletics, especially people in Student Affairs and our coaches; no one more than they wants to retain the culture and the best features of our athletics program at UC Davis.”

Vanderhoef noted that he would give “careful consideration to these several voices” before making his decision.

Bruce Madewell, chair of the Academic Senate, said he had anticipated a closer vote.

Its outcome, he said, reinforced the importance of shared governance and the need to provide “an active voice in the process of change” to those who would likely be affected by it.

“The chancellor has a tough decision,” Madewell added. “I have no doubt that whatever decision with regard to athletics is made, he will have made that decision based on his conviction of what is best for the campus.”

Madewell noted that two Senate committees had made “clear recommendations that could guide the athletics program” and that the Senate has appointed new members to the Athletics Administrative Advisory Committee to advise on academic matters.

Voter turnout on this issue totaled 827 mail ballots, compared to 1,147 in 1997 on the issue of quarters versus semesters, 660 in 1998 on the deadline for dropping courses, and 554 in 1999 regarding university divestment in companies doing business in Myanmar.

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