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TMCNet:  UNC releases strategic plan for athletic department

[January 16, 2013]

UNC releases strategic plan for athletic department

Jan 16, 2013 (News & Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- North Carolina, which is currently under NCAA probation due to findings of academic fraud and impermissible benefits in the football program, released a strategic plan Wednesday for its athletic department over the next four years that deals with defining the department's place within the university and setting academic and athletic goals.
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Director of athletics Bubba Cunningham, in his second year at Chapel Hill, and a group of high-level staff members within the athletic department developed the plan, which bears the mission statement, "We educate and inspire through athletics." "Our number one priority is for athletics to be part of the educational experience of all students at the university, those who compete in our 28 varsity sports as well as those who do not," Cunningham said in a university release. "Athletics provides academic and competitive opportunities for more than 700 students, and is part of a unifying spirit for thousands of other students, faculty, staff and alumni.

"Through competition and achievement, our programs can be a source of inspiration for the student body, the community, our alumni, donors and future generations of Tar Heels." Investigations into academic irregularities at the university -- ones that seemed to favor athletes in abnormal proportions -- are ongoing. An extensive review headed by former state governor Jim Martin concluded in December that the issues UNC has faced were academic, not athletic, and confined entirely to the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

"Our vision is that we will lead in all that we do -- academics, athletics and administration," Cunningham said in the release. "It is critical that with all that is being discussed about the role of athletics at all levels of higher education, the University of North Carolina be at the forefront of those conversations. The only way to do that is to have a program that people can look to with pride in how we are recruiting and educating our student-athletes, how we are faring competitively at the ACC and national level and how we are growing and developing our professional staff." The plan focuses on four main categories: alignment, academic achievement, athletic performance and administrative engagement.

Here, from the university release, is what each of those categories entails: ALIGNMENT --Define and respect the importance of athletics within public research universities --Build stronger relationships within the university community --Actively shape the future of college athletics ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT --Improve the academic profile of incoming student-athletes --Support student-athletes' academic goals, performance and efforts to graduate --Develop student-athletes for a life of success beyond athletics ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE --Attract, develop and retain the best coaches --Attract, develop and retain the best student-athletes to achieve their maximum potential --Win championships ADMINISTRATIVE ENGAGEMENT --Create a culture that emphasizes strategic thinking effective organizational structure and outstanding communications --Attract, develop and retain the best staff --Identify, secure and allocate the resources needed to achieve at the highest level --Develop an operational approach that emphasizes connections with fans, donors and partners throughout outreach and collaboration --Tell the "Carolina Story" through innovative communications, aggressive promotions and proactive public relations ___ (c)2013 the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) Visit the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) at www.news-record.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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