This classification means that WKU is considered to be operating its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Association’s Division I membership.
The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993.
The certification process, which is a self-study led by an institution’s chief executive officer, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student welfare.
“I want to thank the many individuals of the self-study committee who represent a cross-section of the university for their dedication and many hours of long, hard work to accomplish this task,” Western President Gary Ransdell said. “This certification from the NCAA is a validation of the forward direction and success of Western’s athletic program.”
Members of Western Kentucky’s steering committee include Deborah Wilkins, general counsel; Jim Brown, NCAA faculty athletic representative, chair of the University Athletic Committee and faculty member, Department of Theater and Dance; Mark Ross, faculty member, Accounting and Finance; C.J. Woods, director of Diversity Programs and Judicial Services; Jessica Martin, student and Student Government Association representative; Bill Waltrip, Bowling Green chief of police; Bob Young, past president, Hilltopper Athletic Foundation and attorney, English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley; Dr. Ransdell; Dr. Wood Selig, athletic director; and Pam Herriford, associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator.
The second round of athletics certifications is being completed on a 10-year cycle rather than the five-year cycle used during the initial certification process. All 326 active Division I members participate in the certification process.
The Division I Committee on Athletics Certification reviews an institution’s certification materials and provides a list of issues identified during the evaluation. The university then has approximately one year to respond in writing to the issues before a final certification decision is rendered. An institution’s failure to satisfactorily respond to the committee may negatively impact certification status.