MERRILY DEAN BAKER:
GENDER EOUITY: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE 90s
(Monday, June 8 -8:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m.)
Good morning folks. I think we'd best get started since we're running a little bit late already and we certainly don't want to break the pace on our end. The month was June and the year was 1972, when the highest governing body of this nation and NACDA Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 established a statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any program or activity offered by an institution or agency receiving federal financial assistance.
In this June of 1992, exactly 20 years later, numerous Title IX compliance reviews and the results of data collected during the recent NCAA Gender Equity study, have shown that while we have made great progress, we have not yet achieved gender equity with respect to intercollegiate athletics programs in our nation's colleges and universities.
What began as a federal mandate in the 19708 has now become a moral imperative for the 1990s. How we quantify that imperative and how we accommodate and achieve it will also comprise a major challenge in the 1990s. But. it is a challenge that must be met As President George Bush has said, "Universal access to public access to public education is more fundamentally an expression of our deeply shared commitment to opportunity for all of our view that individual merit will prevail if given an equal chance."
The challenge of the past is then to break down the barriers to that opportunity .It is a task that is not yet finished. It is time to take care of unfmished business. We have three distinguished guests this morning to help us sort through our unfmished business and begin to prepare for the challenge ahead. It is my pleasure to introduce them to you at this time.
Our first guest is Michael L. Williams, assistant secretary for civil rights for the U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Williams has been awarded three degrees from the University of Southern California; a Juris Doctor, a Master's of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts. He was nominated as assistant secretary for civil rights for the U.S. Department of Education by President George Bush in 1990 and was confIrmed by the U.S. Senate in June of 1990. Prior to that, Mr. Williams served as a deputy assistant secretary for law enforcement at the Department of the Treasury where he was the senior policy advisor with oversight responsibility for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire Arms and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Prior to joining Treasury, he served as a special assistant to Attorney General Dick Thornburg. Mr. Williams has litigated matters in both federal and state courts as a private practitioner, as an assistant district attorney and as a senior trial attorney for the criminal section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1988, he was awarded the attorney general's Special Achievement Award and the assistant attorney general's Special Commendation Award for his prosecution of members and associates of the White Patriot Party in North Carolina. The two-year effort led to the conviction of six klansmen and put their violent actions to an end.
Now, as assistant secretary for the Office of Civil Rights, Mr. Williams is responsible for enforcing four federal statutes that prohibit discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. One of those statues is Title IX. The Office of Civil Rights investigates complaints filed by individuals, or their designated representatives, and also initiates compliance reviews of recipient institutions and agencies. OCR also offers technical assistance to help recipients voluntarily comply with civil rights laws and to infonn citizens of their rights under those laws.
Of seven priorities listed by OCR last year. one is discrimination on the basis of sex in athletics programs. Mr . Williams, we eagerly await your views with respect to gender equity and its implications for the 908. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Williams.
Good morning. First, let me thank you for that kind introduction. I probably couldn't have written it better myself. It is my pleasure to be here. I'm standing here widI some degree of awe and widI some degree of concern, however. I gave a speech to dIe College Football Association where I covered many of dIe same dIings that I will cover today. Looking at a news article dIat came out afterwards, I found dIat an adIletic director said I didn't say
anything earth shattering. I have to admit that I didn't and today, I won't either. If you know anything at all about my background at OCR, one earthquake is enough for one tenure.
I'm reminded of a story and I would like to share it with you. It's about a young man who was killed in a flash flood, died and went to heaven. At the pearly gates he was asked to give his case history about how he came to his demise and how he made it to heaven. He went about the business of doing just that. St. Peter thought the story was so interesting that he wanted him to tell this story again tomorrow to another group of angels. Being a newly-appointed guy in heaven, he jumped at this opportunity. As he was leaving, another angel came and tugged him at the bottom of his coat and said, "1 just want to tell you something. Noah will be in the audience." That's sort of how I feel this morning. Here I am going to talk about intercollegiate athletics to a big old room full of Noahs. Folks who do this every single day. A great orator once said, "Never try to make more than one point, but at least try to make one." So, let me try to make that one.
In order for us to have continued progress in the area of providing equal athletic opportunity to both men and women, it is going to require much more of a coordinated effort between those of us in the federal government and those of you in the industry professionally and those who, as we say in the government, are in the interest groups.
For two decades, since the passage of Title IX, we've been engaged in a process to provide equal athletic opportunity. The Department of Education's Title IX regulations and the policy interpretation that followed have provided a workable, regulatory scheme for providing that opportunity .
As we enter the third decade of this grand experiment, the major agent for success continues to be, as it always has been, you within the intercollegiate professionals. As a result of that, even though we have a very large responsibility at the Office of Civil Rights for determining compliance, we also recognize that there will be, on the horizon other forces, namely those that come from the courts and from private litigations. So, as a consequence of that, it is going to be much more important for us to hear from you. It will be important for us to listen to you and important for us to talk with each other. I know that some of you may say that all too often in the past, that has not occurred. We all know that it must occur in the future.
For that reason, one thing I want to do is to commend you for the work you've done thus far and to encourage you to go a liltle bit further. I invite your assistance in helping us carry out our mandate. Then, if you will, allow me to provide a few modest proposals for what we might do. The successes have been manyfold.
A year before Title IX became a law, we probably recall that only 294,000 girls played high school sports. In that same year, a Connecticut judge ruled that girls could not compete on a boy's high school cross country team, even though there was no team for girls. In his ruling the judge wrote, " Athletic competition builds character in our boys. We don't need that kind of character in our girls." No doubt that judge did not realize that within a short period of time there would be women sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court or going up in space. Today, two million high school girls are playing sports. Encouraged by their parents, 90 percent feel that sports is just as important for their girls as for their boys.
At the collegiate level in 1971, the situation was grim as well and would-be women athletes had to resort to selling apples at football games. Women college coaches were under-compensated, their equipment ragged and their training was "catch-as-catch-can". At other schools, men gymnasts passed their used tape on to the women who had no budget for tape of their own. Prior to 1975, when the Title IX regulations were issued, athletic scholarships for women were also quite rare.
After winning two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics, Donna De V arona was forced to retire at the age of 17. Meanwhile, a good friend and a fellow gold medalist, Don Schollander, got a full scholarship to Yale where women were not even admitted as undergraduates. That was the situation in college athletics, despite the fact that women had been competing since 1896.
For the Williams' family, in this area of scholarships, there is a particularly poignant story. I remember, quite frankly with pride, my parents in 1975, when one of their children entered the University of Southern California on an athletic scholarship. My dad, a 43-year high school football coach, realized that all those Saturday mornings of jogging, all those pep talks to one of the children, all those sitting down giving rub downs had fmally paid off. A scholarship was awarded to one of their children, their daughter, my sister, the real athlete in the Williams family. I was only a walk-on. A lot has changed in 20 years. There is still a good ways to go.
I want to talk to you now about why what we're talking about is important I had a discussion earlier about the values of sports. According to a recently released Department of Labor Report, women will account for 15 million of the expected 26 million, or 58 percent of the net increase in the civilian labor force, between 1990 and 2005. By 2005, the 71 million women workers will constitute 47 percent of the civilian labor force. Unlike previous trends, the vast majority of these women will not be leaving the labor force to assume full-time child-bearing
responsibilities. The capacity of women to asswne responsible employment opportunities will affect America's ability to compete in the world economy as well as our security and quality of life.
A federal commission was asked to examine the new demands of the American work place and whether our young people are capable of meeting those demands. Specifically, the commission was directed to advise the
Secretary of Labor on requirements for entering employment What interested me was the commission's identification of competencies in skills and qualities that lie at the very heart of performance. Many of those relate to the by- products of athletic participation.
Consider what they found --the ability to participate as a member of a team, the ability to negotiate, the ability to work with diversity, the ability to interpret and communicate information, the ability to monitor and correct performance, the ability to take responsibility and the ability to self-manage. I've been moved in my review of things happening in this area by the words of a woman athlete said moments before her final game. She said, "I know I'm retiring from competitive basketball tonight. but the lessons I've learned from being on this team in this sport will carry through my life. I now know what it's like to cooperate with many different personalities. I've learned about give and take. I've experienced winning and losing, sharing glory and defeat from both a personal and team perspective. Basketball has given me confidence and that won't leave me when I walk off the court tonight"
As mentioned earlier, after consulting with the Congress, parents, educators, interest groups and other folks, we at the Department of Education named equal athletic opportunities as one of our seven high priority issues. This year we initiated six compliance reviews and the results of those reviews along with the findings from our complaint investigations, unfortunately, point to continuing Title IX non-compliance.
Let me offer a few suggestions about what we might do to bring to an end sex discrimination in athletics based on our experience with these reviews and investigations. First, as all of you already know, the NCAA completed a gender equity study to identify inequities in intercollegiate athletics and to develop strategies for resolving them. I have to say I've accepted an invitation to participate on the NCAA 's Gender Equity Task Fon:e and I look forward to that exchange of ideas and information that will come about from that and to participate in the development of what is an operational definition of gender equity .For those of us at OCR, I have to say that we use the term gender equity now as the phrase of the day. We are fon:ed to still deal with Title IX. They mayor may not be the same. Gender equity may be larger or smaller, but I look forward to working with the task force in the development of the operational definition of what that is.
As private associations consider and look at your certification process for institutions to annually evaluate your programs for compliance with the associations' bylaws, many of you are considering, and I urge you to continue to explore whether a similar process to check for Title IX compliance ought to be part of the certification process.
Third. and perhaps most important. I strongly urge a periodic review of your program and consider its impact on equal athletic opportunities. If you recall. when the Title IX regulation was issued in 1975. it required institutions to conduct self evaluations on their policies and practices. This was a one-time evaluation to be conducted during the fIrst year. Many institutions found this provision extremely helpful and made modifications after identifying compliance problems.
In April of 1990, OCR issued a revised Title IX Athletics Investigators Manual. The manual explains OCR's approach to athletic investigations and provides step-by-step instructions to QCR's investigators conducting those investigations. Some of you have been using that manual to do your own evaluations. I would encowage that because the prospect of litigation and OCR knocking on your door makes the failure to adequately evaluate and develop such programs very risky business.
In making compliance determinations, we look at two major areas --scholarships and benefits and services. Regarding scholarships, the Title IX regulations require reasonable opportunities for scholarships proportionate to participation rates for men and women in intercollegiate athletics. This does not require the same number of scholarships for men and women or individual scholarships of equal value. However, in general, the total amount of scholarship assistance awarded to men and women must be substantially proportionate to their participation rates in th' athletic program.
As for benefits and services, there are 12 program components to be reviewed in determining whether equal opportunities in athletics are available. They are --accommodation in athletic interest and abilities, equipment and supplies, scheduling and games and practice times, travel and per diem allowance, opportunity for coaching and academic tutoring, assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors, locker rooms and facilities, medical and training services, housing and dining services, publicity, support services and recruitment of student-athletes.
Institutions are not required to offer athletic programs or to offer the same sports or even the same number of sports to men and women. What you are required to do is to provide the benefits and services I mentioned in what we call an equivalent fashion. There's no pat formula for determining compliance. In making that determination, we look at the overall athletics program rather than make sport-by-sport comparisons. Accordingly, you have great flexibility in establishing the programs and maintaining compliance without compromising the diversity of athletics programs among institutions.
Central to any compliance detennination under Title IX is to question whether the school is providing sufficient participation opportunities to equally accommodate the interests and abilities in male and female students. In detennining whether the interests and abilities in male and female students are being equally effectively
accommodated, we focus only on those sports where there is sufficient interest and ability to feel a viable intercollegiate team and a reasonable expectation of intercollegiate competition.
Self evaluation, as I mentioned being important, may have led to a couple of remedial actions by colleges and prevented the following compliance problems. At a university in the south there was only one locker room, which
was substandard, for the entire women's program. The men's football, basketball, soccer and baseball teams had well- furnished locker rooms exclusively used for their use. Women athletes were charged for using weight training equipment while men used equipment at no charge. None of the women's teams were provided adequate dining services during school breaks and holidays, but men's teams were.
At a state university in the mid-atlantic region, student managers served six men's teams but only one women's team. Eighty percent of prospective male athletes' campus business was subsidized but only 39 percent of prospective women athlete's campus business was subsidized. At a large university in the midwest, men's programs accounted for 88 percent of recruitment expenditures compared with 12 percent of recruitment expenditures for women. Only
women sports have full-time coaches and graduate assistants at a state school in the west There was no equipment manager for women's teams, while men's football teams had an equipment manager and a student assistant handled laundry service for the men's basketball team. Women's teams had no regular replacement of equipment while all men's teams had sufficient equipment.
Women's coaches were given shorter contrac~ at another state school in the west and a locker area exclusively for team use was available only to male athletes. At a state university in the south, women's teams had limited opportunity for pre-season competition while several of the men's teams played pre-season exhibition games. There was no certified b'ainer for women's teams while a b'ainer was available, not only for football, but also for the men's basketball team.
At a university in the south, the women's basketball team used bus service to events more than 500 miles away while the men's basketball team used air services. Video equipment was not available to any women's teams while being provided to the men's teams.
In all of dIe instances, OCR secured plans for corrective actions which are now being carefully monitored to insure compliance and I'm confident that self-evaluations would have identified and resulted in dIe remedy of dIese processes before we ever came on campus. Because we believe dIat schools are more likely to do dIe right thing when dIey have right information, we developed a fairly active technical delivery program. Some of you had dIe opportunity to meet widI Lamar Daniels from our Atlanta regional office yesterday. OdIers will do so this afternoon and I strongly encourage you by eidIer telephone, correspondence or by inviting us to your campus or to a conference meeting to sit down and be walked through Title IX and its regulations.
I approached this challenge of providing equal athletic opportunity nationwide with some degree of optimism. You've already shown the ability to make great change in other difficult areas, primarily dealing with academic performance by student-athletes. When you look and realize that less than 20 years ago, some folks were saying that provide gender equity or equal athletic opportunity to men and women would probably destroy the revenue-producing sports like football and basketball, we now look around and realize that has not been the case. Indeed, Coach Vince Lombardi would now be happy. Lombardi once said, " A school without a football team is in danger of deteriorating into medial study hall."
I'm convinced that we're a long ways down the road and we've got a way to go. Recognizing that each of us sits in a unique position, ours is to do compliance determination, listen to you and talk to you. Yours is to develop good, sound and strong programs. I hope if you leave here today with only one thing, it is that if you feel that we have not listened, we will start. If you feel that you want to tell us something, do it.
I was born in west Texas. It is not like it is here. West Texas is desert and every spring something occurs in west Texas which I call the west Texas miracle. Every spring, every home owner take that brown hard dirt and they plant grass seed. They pray over it They toil over it. They go out and work it with their hands. Sooner or later a
weird things happens. A blade of grass grows over here and one over there. Before you know it, you've got a green lawn. Providing equal opportunity for both men and women is probably the same thing. It's going to take each person looking at some hard ground and plant a seed and toil over it.
On behalf of the Department of Education and 845 folks who do a heck of a job protecting the rights of men and women and moms and dads around the country, it's been our pleasure to be here. Thank you.
MERRILY DEAN BAKER:
Thanks Michael. If you did have to pick on the Big Ten, I'm glad to see that you're polite enough to site the University of Michigan and not Michigan State. For another perspective, we're pleased to have another guest, Greg O'Brien, chancellor of the University of New Orleans and president of the NCAA Presidents' Commission. Greg has been awarded his PhD in psychology from Boston University. He also earned an AM in psychology from Boston University and an AB cum laude in social relations from Lehigh University .Greg has served as chancellor at the University of New Orleans, which is the comprehensive urban graduate university of the LSU system, since 1987. As chancellor and CEO, he has led the university through a period of dramatic programmatic development and increased public confidence despite multiple budget cuts that reduced state support for the university by over 33 percent
The University of New Orleans has been able to emerge as an important, productive and major urban university deeply involved in metropolitan, state and regional development. Among Chancellor O'Brien's many initiatives and accomplishments has been a demonstrated and widely recognized commitment to the development of racial, gender and cultural diversity among the students, faculty, staff and highly-respected university leadership team. He has published a number of papers and made a number of presentations related to that topic. In 1991, he was awarded the Public University Leadership Award by the American Association of University Administrators for programs in support of students, faculty and staff diversity .
Since 1988, Chancellor O'Brien has been a member of the NCAA Presidents' Commission and is currently serving as the chairperson of that commission. He also served on the NCAA Committee on Cost Reduction from 1989to 1991.
Greg, having said all of that, we're very interested in hearing your comments on gender equity and its implications for the 90s, particularly in the area of economic constraint
Thank you Merrily. The comment I'd like to begin with is to harken back to what we heard earlier this morning about the difference between leadership and management which the Admiral was speaking about I thought about his comment on the Golden Rule and I guess leadership and management both believe in the Golden Rule, but there are different definitions of it Leadership is treat others as you'd like to be treated and management is he or she who has the goal makes the rules. That somewhat is the context in which we have to deal with in both the challenge of leadership in providing gender equity and the real constraints that we're operating under.
What I would really like to talk with you about this morning goes beyond d1at and is d1e reason I was so glad at Bill's invitation to be wid1 you here d1is morning. That is the issue of gender equity and d1e broader issue of the financing of intercollegiate athletics are areas that d1e traditional, effective, collaboration between college ADs and college presidents needs to be d1e core element in addressing these problems.
It is my hope that the mid 1990s will be recognized as a time where that collaboration between ADs and the presidents, between the ADs' organization and the presidents' organization can serve as the base for the continued reform and improvement of intercollegiate athletics. That is to me, the major issued we face as two organizations.
Secretary Williams has done a far better job than I in framing what is right now an undefmed issue, the issue of gender equity. We know that Title IX serves as a f1fSt guiding principle. There is a second one which I would like to remind all of us about. Universities are not only committed by Title IX to providing participation opportunities in proportion to student interests, scholarship opportunities in proportion to participation and other program supports on a equitable basis, but also, to providing a university environment that is equitable to all of its employees. So, issues of salary, compensation and treatment of our employees are relevant in this context. although they are not necessarily and specifically addressed in Title IX, they are broadly addressed in Secretary Williams' domain. When the university examines whether it is being equitable and fair, it is both in the context of employment opportunity and student athletic participation opportunities.
As Merrily said, there are some broader context issues that go beyond federal regulations that we all have to wrestle with. One of which, is that most of our students are female. Most of our alumni are male. There's been a fundamental change in the enterprise that we serve. The dominate issue for higher education in the 1990s, not just athletically, but in the entire context of running the higher education enterprise, will be rising expectations and dramatically dn ~ining revenues.
In the 1992 convention, the NCAA directed that we undertake a study of the fmancial issues of college sports. It's striking to me, having served on the Cost Reduction Committee, that there is strong consensus that the financial issues that we're going to face in the 1990s will be more dramatic, more constraining and more difficult. We thought of ourselves as trying to put a ceiling on the rising level of expenditures. We had a lot of resistance, a lot of concerns in doing that As we look into the 1990s, we've all got to face that the ceiling is coming down. The level of resources that we have had is declining in real terms. Thirty-three states at the beginning of this academic year had made actual reductions in the appropriations to their public colleges and universities. It was the fIrst time that America had a decline in support for higher education in the recorded history of that statistic which was over 35 years.
More states since then had mid-year budget cuts, so the vast majority of your states have decreased their support for higher education. At the same time, your colleges and universities, most of them, are engaged in a freeze or in an early retirement program or a program to consolidate academic offerings. As leaders of intercollegiate athletics,
you know you face declining revenue at the gate. We all know we're facing declining media support for high proftle intercollegiate athletics and as we hit a serious recession, we're facing for the fIrst time in a long time, declining support from booster organizations.
The ceiling is lowering. At the same time, the fair and reasonable expectations of our students and our parents and our public is to provide, not only a Title IX compliant set of offerings, but a set of offerings that is equitable to the interests of all of our students, most of whom are female.
Dick Schultz convened the NCAA Task Force and Mr. Williams mentioned that he is a member of that task force. That's chaired by President Jim Whalen and Commissioner Phyllis Howlett and has Judith Albino from the University of Colorado, Judy Sweet, Donna Lopiano, Ellen Vargas serving on that committee. They'll have that meeting sometime next month. At the same time, the Presidents' Commission has convened a committee chaired by President Albino and co-chaired by President Steve Barring of Purdue University. Composed of eight presidents to look at the presidents' perspective on this same issue.
As I say, we look at the issue of gender equity as not yet defined. It doesn't mean that it's unimportant. It doesn't mean that change far beyond the current federal regulations is not required. We believe it is required. But it's going to be up to these task forces to help us find methods by which to achieve equitable access to sports, equitable treatment of our athletes and equitable treatment of our athletic staff and support.
We need to recognize that this will be done in a context of dramatically declining resources. The issues are not going to be able to be how many scholarships we add to our base to bring ourselves from non-compliance to compliance, how many staff we add to our athletics departments to bring true equity because as leaders of major parts of your institutions, you know how impossible it will be to come forward and say, we want to announce a 15 percent increase in our budget while the department of English or the department of mathematics, or the college of engineering are laying off faculty and staff.
The Admiral talked about decide, delegate and disappear. Increasing college athletic budgets while decreasing university budgets will be the fastest way to have your presidents disappear. It really is an extremely difficult task that we face. I believe that we're going to have to find, in the context of studying fmancial issues, new ways equitably to support intercollegiate athletics, not ways to increase spending here and there, and hold the line over here and over there but, new ways to define what we're doing in intercollegiate athletics and where the support comes from.
One of the big controversial issues in the cost reduction effort in the late 80s was the concept of need-based financial aid. I don't know where we will go with that issue but I suspect, as we convene a new committee in the 1990s to look at fmancial issues, the question of need-based aid as a means of providing equitable support for all of our students is going to come back again.
We're going to have to find new ways to define sports, new ways to determine the scope of our intercollegiate athletics operations. It's going to be very dramatic. Part of that drama will be integrating equity issues into a context of declining revenue. As Secretary Williams said, the choice isn't whether we do it, the mandate from the federal government is there, from the majority of our students is there, from the majority of their parents is there, and from American society .It is a very difficult process.
In support of Secretary Williams' comment about the certification process, I do believe that both in dealing with equity and financial constraints, the ongoing process that we will address at the 1993 convention of creating certification based on self-study with peer review is going to be an absolutely essential component of continuing that kind of positive move.
I would like to mention that Judy Sweet and I will be convening a committee on financial issues in intercollegiate athletics. In convening that committee, it is our hope that we can strengthen the bridge between you as leaders of intercollegiate sports, those of us who serve as leaders of total institutions and the leaders of other college athletics-related constituencies in a unified effort. Judy and I have met with Bill and are trying to identify some members of your leadership who could serve and help NCAA identify the broad policies and strategies that we can use to address the financial issues.
What I think is most important for my being here today is to let all of you know that the Presidents' Commission wants very much to strengthen and re-highlight the strong bond between presidents and athletic directors in facing tough questions. We will face the toughest questions in our professional lifetimes in the 1990s, dramatically reduced coSt, increased concern, and sometimes anger, in the university community about the role of athletics versus the role of a university community with declining resources. At a time when resources are declining, meeting our own values and society's expectations, we need to give fair treatment to all of our athletes, male and female.
I come perhaps suggesting that the issues are very complicated. The issues must be done, must be addressed in a context of declining resources. But, that the issue can only be effectively addressed with your leadership as athletic directors committed to equal opportunity , committed to expanding opportunities and committed to working with your presidents to create a context where that success can occur.
We're going to go through a period of dramatic change, unpleasant change, but we can do it. We can do it if athletic leadership and presidential leadership can work together. Often you can bring more public attention to the plight of higher education than any other part of the higher education community. You can help your university deal with very difficult times and working together, athletic directors and presidents can create a positive 1990s more in tune to equity and more in tune to the financial realities of a decade of limited resources. Thank you.
MERRILY DEAN BAKER:
Thanks Greg. You've done an excellent job of defining the parameters of today's realities. We all struggle now with the fact that it is very clear that with regard to the achievement of gender equity the choice is not whether we're going to do it, but how and when. We need to start today. I'm sure there are many people who have good keen understanding of what these realities are. We know what Title IX mandates. We've been reading it for 20 years and getting it interpreted for 20 years. We do understand the research that we've read. We understand the economic constraints facing each one of our institutions. We understand the moral imperative. We understand the realities. But, we also look in the purse, we see what's there and what isn't there. We look at the realities of revenue production on our campuses with the programs that we have in place. We look at a sea of faces of young people both male and female, none of whom would like to see their opportunities decline. Yet, the numbers don't add up. The real challenge becomes how to deal with that
I'm very pleased to have the executive director of the NCAA, Dick Schultz, joining Chancellor a'Brien and Secretary Williams to help us try and chew on some of those answers and I would urge that we take the little time that is left to throw some hard ball questions. If we don't dig in deep and begin to find the answers today while we're together, each of us is going to find the path a lot more difficult in the months ahead.
FROM THE FLOOR:
My question is for Mr. Schultz. As we devote our resources, both fmancially and leadership, to the gender equity issue, I'm struck by the comment in the guides of Title IX (second edition) where the statement indicates with respect to elimination of existing spons, the tendency is for institutions to eliminate a sport previously offered to women who are already under-represented in the institution's athletic program. Recognizing that one of our West Coast institutions has recently eliminated three men's sports and as we work with bringing women into our programs, I'm trying to envision ahead with now the elimination of men's sports rather than a knee-jerk reaction to bringing about gender equity. How can we preserve and not bring about what I think we've seen already in lawsuits in restoring women's programs but what we may be faced with in men's programs as well?
I know your question expresses a concern of a number of people. They are concerned that they will have to drop men's programs to qualify for women's programs. I don't think anyone wants that. I don't think women want that to happen. No one wants to deny opportunities for one sex to be able to provide for the other. I would hope that would not be the problem.
We've seen a lot of sports dropped in the last year or two and we're probably going to see a lot more dropped in the future. As I've looked at those, it's been a pretty broad spectrum. There's been men's programs and women's programs cut Most institutions have tried to do that equitably when they have to do that There have been some exceptions and they've received a lot of publicity.
When we announced the results of our gender equity study, one of the points I had to make, and I think Chancellor O'Brien was making the same point, is that if we're really going to solve this problem, we have to eliminate it as an athletic department problem. One of the problems we had as I've seen it over the last 20 years in having a true gender equity or meeting all Title IX regulations is that the university has said to the athletic director, this is your problem, you solve it You 've got the athletic budget You make sure that we comply with Title IX. In most cases, that's just not possible. The university has to make a commitment to gender equity and Title IX, not
only in athletics, but in everything else they do. If it's a state institution, the state has to make that commitment and they have to be willing to come forward and be sure that the resources are there to provide that equity .
It's complicated because of the financial situation that Greg referred to and that we're all aware of. This is a national situation. But, it has to be a collective effort and I hope it will not be at the expense of one particular gender. The last thing in the world we want is to solve one problem and end up with reverse discrimination on the other side. I don't think anyone wants that.
It's going to have to be a cooperative effort. People are going to have to go into this with a very willing, meaningful effort and interest on the sides of both groups to really solve this issue. I would hope in our Gender Equity Task Force that we have strong advocates on both sides. I was pleased with the fIrst conference call. The feeling was there and people want to really solve this problem and they want to do it in a fair and equitable way. I would hope that we could do this with some resolve and not at the expense of certain sports.
I'm Jack Lengyel from the U.S. Naval Academy. Is not full compliance to Title IX a gender equity?
MERRILY DEAN BAKER:
Well there are four of us and you'd probably get four different answers, Jack. Is there someone specifically to whom you would like to address that question?
Yes, all four of you.
Jack, 1'11 get out of this real quick. The Gender Equity Task Force will have its first in-person meeting on July 9th. We had a conference call of about 35 minutes last week and one of the points that came from that is that one of the f1fSt things the task force has to do is defme gender equity. It may, in fact, be exactly what you say. But right DQW! we don't seem to find anyone who says this is gender equity and this is Title IX. That has to be one of the first responsibilities of that task force if no one else is willing to do it
I'm glad you asked that question. It shows insight and foresight. Next question please!
I think that Dick hit the issue that gender equity, as we are using it in the context of intercollegiate athletics, is
not yet defmed fully. I would add that from the point of view of a university president, one thing to support what Dick is saying, remember that being inequitable under Title IX, endangers all of the funds of the university from
research and for student financial aid. At my institution for example, inequity in Title IX would endanger budgets that together are 20 times the size of the intercollegiate athletics budgets and in many places, would at least be 10
times the size of the intercollegiate budget. The context for the university is extraordinary big stakes. Most of our students and most of your students are on some form of financial aid for which we would be ineligible if we are found to be in ultimate non-compliance with Title IX.
The context of this is very serious. But in addition to Title IX, at least the issues of fair and equitable employment opportunities will have to part of the issue.
I have to echo Dick's comments. First of all, we have not set a clear definition of gender equity. Looking at it from the vantage point of the Department of Education, we have some idea what Title IX means and what it requires. But, without knowing what gender equity requires, I could not say that compliance to Title IX would be the same thing with gender equity until we have a definition.
I can see there will be a large part of Title IX compliance that will fit into what gender equity is. I've said before, it may be the same, it may be less, it may more and we'll have to wait and see.
MERRILY DEAN BAKER:
I'm going to bite a personal bullet here and say that I think it's more. I think gender equity is a much larger issue than Title IX. That is a personal perspective. I believe it for this reason. I believe that gender equity is nothing more than FAIRNESS. When you look at Title IX which is a formulated approach in trying to measure compliance with a statute, you're looking at a formula that is probably discriminatory already.
It is predetenDined upon the athletic population which could be based discriminatorily. In other words, if an institution decides that it's going to have a program that only enables 20 percent of the participants to be female, it would meet the compliance regulations of Title IX and that to me is not gender equity. Anytime that you get into a fonDulated approach to something, minimums, maximums, etc., we all know that minimums very often become maximums. If you're looking at the ultimate test of fairness or morality, it's very difficult to measure in those tenDS.
One of the things I would personally hope for is that the issue gets embedded in the self-study process of certification. That's the only place. Not with rules and regulations and formulas can you get to the issue of fairness. Is this institution fulfIlling its obligation to all of its students in a fair and reasonable way? This is something the institution has to address in its own self-examination. That issue comes very much interweaved with a real sense of fairness. But, it is that sense that we have to use. Most of our students are women.
I look at gender equity as more of dIe moral imperative dIan dIe legal mandate.
MERRILY DEAN BAKER:
Thank you Greg. Unfortunately, we have run out of time. If any of you would like to discuss this further at this conference, the Division I women administrators would like to invite you to join their session at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon where Lamar Daniels, who is the Director for the Office of Civil Rights out of Atlanta, will be speaking and answering any further questions.
Gentlemen, thank you for your time and we'll talk a lot more about this in the future.