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36th NACDA Convention
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 10-13, 2001

NCAA Division I Breakout
Town Hall Meeting - Recruiting, Selecting and Training Coaches and Staff
Tuesday, June 12, 10:35 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Ron Stratten

My name is Ron Stratten. I'm vice president for education services for the NCAA and a member of NACDA's Executive Committee. Before we begin, I would like to recognize Southwest Recreational Industries who is our audio-visual sponsor. They are the folks helping us today with our Town Hall Meeting.

This morning, we're talking about recruiting, selecting and training coaches and staff. What you've been experiencing over the last day or so is an opportunity for you to hear from some experts and people in the area. We have microphones so you can ask questions of the speakers. This session will be a little different. It was born out of discussions we've had about the need to discuss and share information. We thought of it as more of a round table discussion that we were going to have tomorrow. We thought this might be a good shot to at least have a larger dialogue, so here I am.

I've asked Dr. Freddie Grooms to join me and we will be sharing information with you as well as asking for your input. This session is a working session and we are going to be looking for information from you to share among your colleagues and we hope to get that information back to you. I'll be asking for some highlights of that information later on. We're going to divide this session into recruiting and then look at the selecting and hiring processes that are taking place. We're going to look at the issue of training both from a developmental point of view and from an administrative point of view, as well as from a coaching point of view. There are a number of things going on within the association now that I think many of you may not be aware of that would be very helpful to you.

It's my pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about this subject. It's a primary role of mine within the association. I'm to assist in providing you meaningful information that will help you in this process. When we define diversity, we must look at that diversity. One of the problems that it poses for you is around the issue related to whether, in fact, the diversity is defined by your administration, by your coaching staff, by your student body. You've got some complexities in terms of layers of "compliance" to what we would like to have. I have placed the remarks that Dr. Brooms will be providing so, if you're looking for some handouts, you'll find them in the middle.

With that in mind, we want you to look at this in a three-dimensional context, not just taking it in terms of administration which is a major concern of yours. I don't have to roll out all of the statistics and tell you that we're not doing a very good job. If we desire to have a diverse work force or a diverse group of people serving our student-athletes who are probably the most diverse part of every one of your campuses, we're not doing a very good job. Whatever model or process we're using to identify high potential people and grow them and put them in positions of authority, we're not doing a very good job of it.

Today, we want to look at best practices, look at what some of you may be doing or would like to share with your colleagues that may be working. It may not even be a complete idea yet, but something that you're starting. I urge you to be thinking in those ways as we approach the session.

I've asked Dr. Freddie Grooms to be here. Dr. Grooms received her Bachelors of Science Degree and Masters Degree in Counseling and Guidance from Florida A&M University and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Human Systems from Florida State University, as well as postgraduate work she's done at Harvard University. As a former president of the American Association for Affirmative Action, she is engaged in research and publishing of affirmative action, human relations and organizational development pieces of information. Dr. Grooms is also the associate professor in counseling and human systems at Florida State University and a national consultant in administration and organizational development, affirmative action and diversity management training.

She is the chair of Florida's Governors Commission for the status of women and a member of the United States Presidents Committee on Women. She is currently employed at Florida State as executive assistant to the president and director of the Equal Opportunities and Pluralism, a department and associate professor of counseling and human systems in the College of Education.

I've asked Dr. Grooms to join us to share with you some of the things that Florida State University has been doing to move this issue around diversity and the hiring of people of color and women in a number of positions within the university. Let's welcome Dr. Freddie Grooms.

Freddie Grooms

Thank you Ron, for that very generous introduction. Some of the things he says I'm doing, I used to do. I am very pleased to be here in this grand hotel. Isn't it beautiful? I'm not going to ask you to move down closer, but if you choose to do that, I would like that. I come from Florida State University. I would like to bring you greetings from the staff, faculty and some 32,000 students at the home of the Seminoles. Florida State University is a Research I institution and because of that, I want to get into a little bit of a test this morning. You don't have to have pen and paper, but I want you to cooperate with me. I'm going to give you a word, ask you to repeat it six times and then I'm going to ask a question and ask that you answer it quickly. It's very simple.

I'm going to start with the word folk. What is the white of an egg? Let's start one more time. I enjoy shopping. Let's start with shop. What do you do at a green light? What that says to me is that you're very much like most of the groups that I address. What we just experienced was a little bit of conditioning. We've become conditioned to things so that we act automatically. I'm hoping you will see the benefit of increasing the representation of people of color and women and you'll be conditioned to going out and aggressively retaining these people.

At Florida State University, excellence is our motto. We want excellence in everything we do. Our mission statement at Florida State includes the fact that we appreciate and value diversity and we are committed to increasing the representation of people of color and women at all levels of the institution. We know that diversity enhances Florida State University. We are a stronger and better institution as a result of the diversity we now have and we're working hard to retain and to enhance.

We started in 1972, through a volunteer effort, to increase our representation and we've been doing it continuously since that time in a very deliberate way. As I mentioned, we have a policy that says we will not discriminate against people because of their race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability or age. We actually model that beginning with our president who is committed to doing this and he encourages everyone at the institution to join in that effort. He's really building on something that started in 1972.

I am now working with my fourth president. I'm a survivor. We've had four presidents and, fortunately, all of them have continued this particular commitment. It is not an accident. It is done deliberately because we appreciate the value in this. We contend we're going to be successful. Equity has to be a part of the institution. It has to be shared. Everybody is involved. Equal opportunity at Florida State University is everybody's business. Among our managers, it is considered a management objective. We are evaluating them on all they do including the success at recruiting and retaining people of color and women.

As I said earlier, it's everybody's business. We expect that. The president, the vice president, all throughout the university will be committed. Dave Hart, our athletics director, is also committed and has initiated some special things to help us enhance the status of people of color and women in our Department of Athletics.

Right now, I want to talk specifically about what we're doing generally across the campus. We have decided that in order to be successful, we have to put forth deliberate effort. Some of you have heard that in our state, the governor chose to suggest that we cannot use race as a factor in recruiting students to our universities. He also said that is true as it relates to contracts and subcontracts. He didn't say we couldn't use it in recruitment, just in admissions and those contracts. We are still working deliberately to try and focus our recruitment by going to places where there's good representation of people of color such as black institutions. We advertise in magazines that are popular with people of color and women. We have recruiters who go out and focus on that particular class, ethnic minority, people of color and women in order to bring them to our university.

We have, what we call, shared goals. We publish those and you can find them on our web site and we reward people for their active involvement and success as it relates to this particular objective. These rewards can come in the form of salary, enhanced budgets, improved travel, resources, etc. Right now, the provost at our university, Lawrence Abel, has in his office a pool of positions, and anytime a hiring official identifies an extraordinary candidate who is either a person of color or a woman, that hiring official can negotiate and get an additional position for his or her unit. These positions will be held by the person who's done the hiring as long it is filled by an effective class person or a woman. If, for some reason that person leaves that position, the position goes back to the central pool. It is available, again, for recruiting people of color and women.

Florida State University is not a university that solicits average people in any of its positions. We're looking for extraordinary people. I don't apologize for that because that's the real world of Florida State. I've often said, however, just between us, when we really reach the point that we will hire the average woman and the average person of color as we historically have done in many instances with white men, we will have achieved equity. Right now, the focus is on finding excellent candidates and the pool is available one such person is identified.

In order to enhance our success rate, the university policy allows us to use a 10 percent above the advertised salary to attract people of color and women. In other words, if we have a person who is interested in coming, but the salary needs to be tweaked just about 10 percent, without further clearance, the hiring official can make that offer. People will say it's expensive to hire people of color and women; it takes so much more. We've learned that is not the case. We did a salary study at the university. We determined the average salary for minorities and women was comparable to the average salary of white males.

Several years ago, the state of Florida decided to do something special. We had been hiring minorities and women and, to some extent, they were paid perhaps 10 to 20 percent higher than the average White males coming in at the time. But, what we learned that in the states system, not just Florida State, was that the average person who filled that category in two years, the men had been given merit raises and that little advantage we started out with had been erased. That was true across the state university system of Florida other than at Florida State University.

The success in recruiting minorities and women just doesn't happen. There has to be a formalized program or a deliberate effort. Our formalized program is on the web site, it's in the library, every department heads have it, so we're all on the same page. We're striving for the same accomplishments. We also realize that because we are a senior university in the system, we have policies and procedures in place that, when implemented, have sometimes a dispirit impact on ethnic minorities, people of color and women. We did a policy analysis and determined which policies have that kind of impact. When we discovered that there were those, we changed them, we altered them.

I remember years ago, we used to have a maternity leave policy which required women who became pregnant to leave their jobs. That was a long time ago. I always wondered why. You would think being pregnant was contagious. If you're going to punish the women, why not the men. They didn't do this alone. Why aren't the men going? I was a young na´ve woman at that time and nobody had any good answers. We now have a paternity policy that allows, not only women, but also men to take leave when a child is born or adopted. It's up to the woman and her physician how long she should work and when she should take leave from employment.

These are the things that make a difference when we're looking at gender and increasing the representation. It's important that the climate at your institutions is conducive, a welcoming, affording opportunity for productivity for all persons. We do that deliberately. Some of the things we do on campus are not the kinds of things the law requires. It's not the legal part. It's because our university values diversity and is willing to be creative and assertive in making a difference. We do things like provide day care centers and job sharing. We've got positions where two people hold one position. A woman who wants to get off mid-day to be home with her children or others who simply don't want to work a full-time job, we find that job sharing is really very productive. When you have two 50 percent positions, you get more than 100 percent. Typically, each person is doing 60 to 65 percent. It's an advantage and it assists in making our environment conducive to increasing our representation of people of color and women.

Another thing we recommend is using the "old boys" network. It works. We simply say change the objective. Use that networking with persons in significant positions across the country, but ask them to help you identify outstanding people of color or women. We find that networking is more effective than almost any other source for our recruiting. Advertising in many of the major journals and documents is good, but that personal contact is better. Pick up the phone and talk to a colleague because it makes much more of a difference. We encourage the employment of the "old boys" system to identify "old girls" or "old people of color." Change it a little because it works, so why not use it.

We find it's important that we provide mechanisms for people who believe they've been treated unfairly or they've experienced some disparity. We've put in place what we call, equal opportunity commission and an equal opportunity committee. The commission affords individuals to register complaints. The committee allows us, when there has been a series of concerns raised, to do an evaluation of the unit to decide whether there's something going on that's non-productive. Both of these are comprised of a diverse population including gender, ethnicity as well as all categories of employment, faculty, staff and administration. These are things we have done and we can truthfully say now that these things have had an impact. They are working and they are making a difference.

One other we do that I'm very pleased to share with you is our mentoring program. At the university, and perhaps at your universities as well, there are formal and informal policies and procedures. As we pair up, establish senior, seasoned employees with our young, more recently appointed employees, they can help them steer through the sharky waters. Particularly among our faculty who is trying to secure tenure and promotions, the senior faculty can help them identify ways of being successful. They can help them get publications in the journal and help them find sources for grad funding. They can help them realize how to make decisions about what kind of committees they should serve on. There are some committees where you have a chance of doing a lot of work and making a difference, but they are not the committees that get you points to tenure. Mentors assist people with those kinds of decisions. The same thing is true in terms of promotions in administration. We have an informal system of teaching people how to know what is best to do and when to do it and it helps open doors for individuals.

The mentoring program is informal. We don't assign them. We have a coffee hour or a cocktail hour where we pull people together. We publish a document with the names of senior professors willing to cooperate. This is made available to the relatively new faculty and staff. They can select and decide whom to contact. We have found this is not only helpful in terms of the academic pursuit of faculty or a promotional pursuit of administrators, but it assists with personal kinds of needs and interests. I can recall when we had a faculty member who had just gone through a tough divorce. We had a young professor who was in the process of the same. They interacted over how to survive the challenges of a divorce. This mentor relationship affords all kinds of support. That's the real world. People bring all sorts of interesting concerns to your campus. Mentoring is one of our most successful programs.

We also have diversity training. We provide, through personnel and my office, workshops and training sessions to help people to value diversity, to manage diversity more effectively. We do this university-wide and we also do it upon request. If a specific department asks me to come and do that, I will. The athletics department asked me to come and talk about what they could do to enhance their emphasis toward diversity in that department.

We find ourselves oftentimes being imposed upon. There's no doubt we have become known to some extent for the fact that we have been doing this diversity and we have a pretty diverse faculty and staff at our university. As most of you know, when we establish our goals for hiring, we do it based upon persons with the prerequisite requirements. For instance, at Florida State, our entire faculty is required to have a Ph.D. As it relates to African-Americans, African-Americans hold only four percent of all Ph.D.s held in America. Our goal for African-Americans in our faculty is four percent. There are those who ask why we can't do 10 or 15 percent? It's relative to the position. Since there are four percent of African-Americans holding a Ph.D., we feel successful because we have close to five percent of our faculty who holds a Ph.D. and are African-American. We do the same things for Hispanic and women by discipline. We looked at what the representation is and then we establish our goals based on that information.

We also are fortunate to be able to utilize our research division to help us with identifying and being specific about who the people of color and women are and all of the disciplines. Our efforts are not happenstance, we know exactly what we should be going for and how to successfully achieve these goals.

I wanted to mention the fact that the Department of Labor recognized Florida State several years ago. We are still the only higher education institution in the country that's been recognized with an award, the Exemplary Volunteer Efforts in Equal Opportunity. We're very proud of that because it says the things we've done were not mandated, but we voluntarily decided to do it because it is right. It's a part of our mission statement and it's part of what makes Florida State University great.

I want to speak specifically about what they're doing in athletics. Dave Hart has recently commissioned an Equal Opportunity Diversity Commission. They are the Florida State University Athletics Department's Diversity Committee. This committee is going to assist the department of athletics exclusively in insuring the climate is conducive in recruiting and retaining people of color and women. They have a diverse committee that has been put together and it's relatively new. They are in the process of establishing strategies and program activities that will make a difference. The athletics department has been doing several things over the years to increase their representation and there is diversity within our athletics department. We realize there is room for improvement. My hat is off to Dave Hart for taking the initiative to initiate this particular committee and to enhance and work deliberately for people of color and women within athletics. We hope to be able to say in a few more months the impact this has had. They are taking their time in terms of getting organized in developing practical strategies to make a difference. Again, that all fits under the university's equal opportunity program. Dave has decided to form a committee in his unit to focus on what he and his staff can do to make things better in that particular area. We believe they will have a successful experience and Florida State would be a stronger institution. We will have, to a greater extent, demonstrated our commitment to enhance people of color and women.

I think President Johnson said, "Until such time as America has fully utilized all of her valuable natural resources of human beings, she will never achieve her maximum potential." The same is true at Florida State and all of the universities and colleges represented here. Until such time as you have effectively utilized all of the available resources that are out there, you will never achieve your maximum potential. I want to take this opportunity to wish you success in achieving your maximum potential. America deserves it and I know that each of you in this room want to make a stronger and better America. Thank you.

Ron Stratten

Thank you. I have a couple of thoughts. One of them is, when Tommy Lasorda was speaking, he talked about a young man who was a pilot who started out believing he was not going to fly anymore. Tommy, with his wisdom, gave him some information to reframe his thinking. That's one of the things we need to think about here. How do we reframe how we do things? How many of you have set goals for your athletics programs and your coaches? How many of you are working on things that are not part of your goals? My point is that if you don't plan for the change, it will not happen. It certainly will not happen on your terms. One of the things we want to talk about today is how do you get that moving? What are you doing currently to do that? Is that reframing of your institution is increasing diversity on your staff a goal? Is it something you are working on every day to make sure it happens? I guarantee you that if it isn't part of what you are doing, it won't happen.

That's why we've got the problem we have today. When Ced visits with me about where we are or when Dan Bogan visits me about where we are, we're looking at increasing those numbers. Every hire you make, are you thinking about this before you make that hire? If you don't, do it independently, one at a time, whoever is sitting in each chair, there is no collective good that comes out of this. We end up in the position of exploiting people. We give them the hope that something good is going to happen and they're going to have careers where they look at their role models and think they can't be one of those. I was silly enough to think I could be a cowboy, but I'd never seen a black cowboy. I had a dream about it because I saw it on television all of the time. All your student-athletes have those same dreams that Tom was talking about. If you are not making it a goal to make sure their lives as student-athletes reflect the way society is going to be, you're doing them a grave disservice. I need you think about that.

I need you to write something down. The book is called Guidelines on Leadership Diversity. It's written by Ann Morrison. I was one of the adjunct faculty that helped write the book and did research on another book that followed, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, which she also wrote. She wrote that about women. As we looked at the data, we ended up saying there are things happening with regard to women and minorities that we need to look at in terms of that glass ceiling for work and business. A plan for how an institution or organization came out of that with step-by-steps to work yourself through the development of a good diversity plan that can be implemented and realistically achieved. You need to take a look at that, if you will. It's not very expensive and it's a very good guideline.

There are a lot of people in the diversity business who will write books. When we looked at them, one of the things that Dr. Grooms talked about was identifying people and letting them grow. Have diversity issues within your job objectives. You should evaluate people in basing their merit increases on what they've done in this area. You can do a lot of things. Motorola had the best program of looking into this. Bob Galvin, the CEO of Motorola, would walk into each one of his staff meetings and ask the question first, what are you doing? If someone hadn't done anything, he did not share in the senior management bonus program for Motorola. The new CEO at Hewlett Packard did the same study. Eventually, CEOs started looking at women and looked at the women in their own family.

The Management Institute is a Covey program with three levels. It's an excellent opportunity for people to go through. I can't tell you how many planners I've had in my lifetime. Do you use them to plan your activities? Are you developing and are your people developing their planning? Are your people developing the habits to become successful? Are you giving them the right kinds of feedback to develop those skills?

We've had our second Minority Women Summit. The first was in Dallas and the last one was in Indianapolis. There, we looked at a lot of information and it came out in the NCAA News. We shared information on the challenges and barriers that women face and what we might be able to do to overcome those barriers. Those organizations would go back and start to deal with a number of scholarship programs, development programs and developmental programs for women and minorities. As far as administration, we've got a lot of opportunities to grow and develop people along. We'd like to see the list of competencies start to become an integral part of everyone's delivery. We need a buy-in from the athletics administrators.

The NCAA Institute of Minorities program is a 14-month program. We're going to give them learning. Then, they go and teach that learning in their athletics program. They come back and get another piece of learning and go back out and implement that. We're not going to give you a bunch of awareness where you get some ideas and have a hell of a time trying to convince anyone that what you did was meaningful at all. We're trying to say, "Here are some strategies. Now, go back and use those." We bring them back and ask them how they did. "What happened? How did you do?"

We want to slowly develop those skills over a period of time. All we're trying to do is provide opportunities for you to send your staff to places where they might be able to get the development that is meaningful and on pace to what they're trying to accomplish and what you want them to accomplish.

The other issue, which is also coming together, is the Coalition for Coach Training. This is an effort that got started last fall in terms of the dialogue between the USOC, the National Federation for State High Schools and the NCAA around the lack of uniformity in our coaching staffs. There was a time in the good old days where we had a lot of people coming out of physical education who ended up coaching. Now, we have a lot of people who have not had any coaching theory, no educational theory, psychological theory and they don't know anything about first aid. They know how to teach a technique and they may be very good at that. If you're trying to deal with an educator and the parents think you're an educator, we need to make sure there is some uniformity to some of that. We are working with a number of organizations to try to develop a program that has multi layers starting with youth programs, then to high school and to what we call collegiate and elite. We ask what are the things each one of these levels need if you're going to be a coach and you're going to make coaching a profession? It really is important for all of you in the room, no matter what division you're in.

There are a lot of folks who are talking about what is important for part-time coaches. You are starting to hire a lot of people who may or may not be on your campus. If that's the case, what is the fundamental piece you need to have so that you have no risks, no liability issues with regard to hiring someone who is not an educator to be in charge of these people? What have you done to insure that that's an educator or somebody who is skilled? We're trying to develop the fundamentals, which are non-sports specific, and give the NGBs and other coaching associations the sport specifics. The AFCA, NABC, NBA and WBCA are organizations in place and are currently delivering education. We want to be able to give them more of a structure for athletics directors to have coaches go through a fundamental piece, at least. To that extent, as basketball teaches basketball, all the Xs and Os have a foundation on which to sit.

We would like to have that be uniform, not necessarily that if you don't do this, you're going to get a job. We're not suggesting that. We are suggesting there are some fundamentals that all coaches should have and we feel now, in talking to the coaches associations, that it's not happening. Those people don't have those fundamentals in place. As an educational association, we think that's an important piece for you to have.

What else could I have done? What would you like to see? Give me your comments on what we've got now. Has everyone signed the yellow sheet? I appreciate your involvement. Make sure we get all of your information. Thanks for coming.