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Open Forum Jan. 9 on Adding a Women’s Varsity Team

By Intercollegiate Athletics on January 3, 2018 in University News

Quick Summary

  • The sport has not been determined
  • FAQ: Why we decided to add a team ...
  • ... and how we are going about it

Updated Jan. 3: Director of Athletics Kevin Blue and Faculty Athletics Representative Scott Carrell will host an open forum, 2-4 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 9), regarding the addition of a women's varsity team (the sport has not been chosen) in 2018-19. The forum, for students, staff and faculty, and members of the community, will be held in the Mee Room on the second floor of the Memorial Union.

The forum is described as a supplemental opportunity for students and other interested people to ask questions about the process of selecting the new sport. The primary channel for providing input and nominating teams for consideration is through this online survey, first published Nov. 27 and open through Jan. 19.

In nearly 600 responses so far, people have nominated 14 teams: beach volleyball, curling, cycling, dance, e-sports, equestrian, skiing, stunt (also known as cheer), fencing, ice hockey, rugby, triathlon, rowing and wrestling.

During the forum, Blue and Carrell will give a brief update on the nomination process, review selection criteria and take questions from the audience. Information gathered will be documented and distributed to all members of the working group that has been charged with analyzing the candidacy of nominated teams and making a final recommendation to Chancellor Gary S. May.

Read the director of athletics' Nov. 27 announcement about adding a women's team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is UC Davis adding a new team?

UC Davis is adding a women’s team in order to maintain compliance with Title IX. At UC Davis, we comply with Title IX by providing varsity participation opportunities for female and male student-athletes that are substantially proportional to the percentage of female and male students comprising the undergraduate student body.

In 2011-12, the year prior to launching the 2020 Initiative, the undergraduate population at UC Davis was 55.1 percent women and 44.9 percent men. By 2016-17, undergraduate proportionality had changed to 59.4 percent women and 40.6 percent men. The number of varsity athletics participation opportunities for female student-athletes has not changed as swiftly, and we are continuing to take action to increase those opportunities.

When will the new team be added?

The new team will begin operations in the 2018-19 academic year.

When will the decision about which team to add be made?

The decision will be made and announced during the Winter Quarter in 2018.

What criteria will UC Davis use to determine which team to add?

The criteria to determine which new team is added will include the following:

  • The amount of philanthropic support for start-up and ongoing costs.
  • Number of participation opportunities that the new team would add.
  • How the new team would fit within or complement our existing conference affiliations.
  • The competitive opportunity at UC Davis for the new team.

Who is making the decision about which team to add?

A working group led by the Director of Athletics (Kevin Blue) and including the Campus Title IX Coordinator and Chief Compliance Officer (Wendi Delmendo), Faculty Athletics Representative (Scott Carrell), Campus Counsel (Sheila O’Rourke), Interim Lead of Finance, Operations and Administration (Kelly Ratliff), and the President of ASUCD (Josh Dalavai) will analyze the options and make a recommendation to Chancellor May for approval.

How can a particular team be nominated for consideration?

To nominate a team for consideration, please complete the short survey at this link. Nominations may be submitted until Jan. 19, 2018.

We will also be conducting a public forum for discussion on this topic at a date and time that will be determined in the next few weeks.

Why can’t UC Davis just decide which team to add? Women’s rowing was discontinued several years ago. Can’t women’s rowing simply be added back? Why is the current application process being used?

UC Davis is following the terms of a stipulated judgment that resolved a Title IX complaint filed in 2007. The terms of the settlement require UC Davis to follow this process.

How will the new team be funded?

A primary criterion for selection is the amount of philanthropic support committed to support the addition of a new team. Accordingly, our efforts will be focused on ensuring that a significant portion of funding for the new team will be derived from private support. Should additional funds be necessary, institutional funds designated to address the enrollment shift will provide bridging support. As noted, these funds will be designated for the new sport.

Will the budgets of existing UC Davis teams be negatively impacted by the addition of another team?

No. The resources available to other UC Davis teams will not be impacted by the addition of the new team. The new team will be funded primarily through gifts raised specifically for the new team. If additional funding is necessary, institutional funds designated to address the enrollment shift will provide bridging support.

As a current donor to Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA), can I be sure that my financial support for existing teams will not be redirected to support the new team?

Yes. Donors to ICA have the option to give directly to the annual funds supporting each of our 23 existing sports programs. Gifts to existing teams are fully and exclusively used to benefit those programs and may not be reassigned. Fundraising activity will continue to be a priority for all sports.

How can I discuss making a financial commitment to support the addition of my preferred team?

Please complete the team nomination form here. Please also send an email to athleticsdirector@ucdavis.edu to note your interest in discussing a financial commitment. Financial commitments can be made on a conditional basis — i.e., making a commitment specifically for the addition of a particular team.

Is this situation the result of mismanagement by Intercollegiate Athletics?

No. The undergraduate female-to-male ratio has changed swiftly in the last five years, and UC Davis is continuing action to bring the ratio of varsity student-athletes into appropriate proportionality.

Couldn’t current women’s team roster sizes be increased in order to create more participation opportunities?

No. The undergraduate female-to-male ratio has changed too substantially. Intercollegiate Athletics has already thoroughly managed the roster sizes of existing female and male teams, and there is very little additional flexibility available.

Aren’t there other ways to comply with Title IX?

At UC Davis, we comply with Title IX by providing varsity participation opportunities for female and male student-athletes that are substantially proportional to the percentage of female and male students comprising the undergraduate student body. Accordingly, we are complying with Title IX by meeting the requirement for “substantial proportionality” (also referred to as “Prong 1”).

Our analysis concluded that this is the only legal manner for UC Davis to fully comply with Title IX. Prong 2 (i.e., a history and continued practice of expansion of participation opportunities for women) and Prong 3 (i.e., full and effective accommodation of interest) are not considered viable alternatives for Title IX compliance at UC Davis.

About the author(s)

Intercollegiate Athletics Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Davis administers 23 varsity men's and women’s sports. Visit the UC Davis Aggies website at www.ucdavisaggies.com.

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