April 12, 2003
Faculty Athletic Representative Anne Mayhew reported the search for the new Athletic Director is progressing well but is still in the preliminary stages at the spring meeting of the Athletics Board. Mayhew also said a compensation package for the Athletic Director is being developed by the search committee and is likely to include incentives based upon achievement in academics, compliance and athletics.
"The search firm has had initial discussions with potential candidates, and we expect the search committee will talk with candidates within the next few weeks," Mayhew said. "We hope to name an Athletic Director by the end of the month."
Doug Dickey will retire as Athletic Director at the end of June but will remain as a consultant to the University. Dickey has been Athletic Director at Tennessee since 1985 and previously served as head football coach from 1964 to 1969.
"We need to continue to be a fair partner to the campus," Dickey said. "We are a part of the University and not an independent corporation. We need to win. The worst thing to happen is not to win your fair share of championships. We have to follow the rules, and we have to be fan friendly. It is important that we do those things to maintain the integrity of the University."
The men's and women's Athletic Department budget for 2003 is expected to be $65.5 million. The men's budget will be more than $60 million but $5.7 million of that will be transferred to the women's Athletic Department. The women's budget will be $11.4 million including the $5.7 million.
The transfer of funds from the men's athletic department will increase nearly $1.4 million from 2002. The increase is due to the fact the Athletic Department will now be responsible for paying all benefits of employees of the women's Athletic Department and for additional operating costs.
The Athletic Department continues to be a good citizen to the rest of the University in terms of financial support. The Athletic Department sponsors $1.5 million in scholarships for non-athletes and donates football and basketball tickets to the University that it in turn can use for fundraising. The Athletic Department also assists the University in other ways financially including donating $45,000 so the Wind Ensemble could travel to play at New York's Carnegie Hall.
Gender equity continues to improve at the University. The University is represented by 537 student-athletes with 292 of those being male and 245 female. That is a 54 to 46 percent male-female ratio. There are 141.2 scholarships available for male athletes and those are being used by 219 student-athletes. Women's athletics offers 117 scholarships which are being used by 173 student-athletes. There are 190 non-scholarship student-athletes representing the University with 98 of those being male and 92 being female. Non-scholarship athletes account for 35 percent all student-athletes.
Student-athletes continue to be competitive in the classroom as well. Student-athletes entering in the fall of 1995 showed a graduation rate of 55 percent as compared to 59 percent for all students. The four-year average, however, is 57 percent for both student-athletes and the student body as whole.