President Lee Pelton announced today that he has established an Athletics Working Group chaired by Dean of Students Ron Ludman. The group is being formed in anticipation of Emerson’s upcoming membership in a new athletics conference—the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) starting in 2013—and will be charged with developing a strategic plan to strengthen Emerson’s athletics program.
In order to successfully complete its work, Pelton said the Working Group will:
- Develop a philosophy statement and role of the athletics program at Emerson College, including non-intercollegiate and fitness programs;
- Meet with students, faculty, and athletics staff to assess program strengths and areas of improvement;
- Review intercollegiate athletics, non-intercollegiate athletics, and fitness programs with respect to facilities and operations needs;
- Assess intercollegiate recruitment and enrollment strategies; and
- Develop short- and long-term strategies to improve the athletics program, especially the student-athletic intercollegiate experience.
“Intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and fitness programs represent an important aspect of Emerson College undergraduate life,” said Pelton. “Intercollegiate athletics competition, in particular, should aid the educational experience. At its best, athletics broadens, rather than narrows, the educational experience.” Pelton said that several student-athletes have expressed frustration with their athletics experience and have offered ideas for key areas of improvement.
NEWMAC’s membership includes highly selective colleges and universities: Babson College, Clark University, Coast Guard Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Pelton said that Emerson’s NEWMAC association will offer student-athletes “the opportunity to develop their capacities for leadership, excellence, and collaboration in association with a distinguished group of institutions.”
The Working Group, which will begin its work in Fall 2012–13, will submit its report to Pelton no later than February 1, 2013.