Poll: 56% of NDSU faculty against move to Division I
More than half of North Dakota State University faculty responding to a survey oppose the school's move to Division I athletics. The survey was conducted by NDSU's chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Of the 215 people re...
More than half of North Dakota State University faculty responding to a survey oppose the school's move to Division I athletics.
The survey was conducted by NDSU's chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
Of the 215 people responding, 121 said they opposed moving NDSU intercollegiate athletics to Division I; 56 said they favored it; and 38 said they had no opinion or not enough information on the issue.
That breaks down to 56 percent against, 26 percent for and 18 percent undecided.
Elaine Lindgren, a member of the group, said the survey went out about two weeks ago. It was sent to more than 550 people, including professors, lecturers, department chairs and deans.
"A lot of people are concerned that we shouldn't be focusing on athletics, but we should be focusing more on university programs," Lindgren said. "... There's all kinds of concerns that this kind of (move) is going to take away emphasis from the academic programs."
The surveys went out before a forum last Wednesday in which NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor talked to professors about the possible move.
That meeting "was informative, although his job is to build the program," Lindgren said. "He's not really in a position (to change) what direction to go in. He's already on that side."
Lindgren said the survey of faculty probably won't have much affect on the process. "I don't think it hurts," she said. "We hear so much negative support, we just have heard a lot of people downtown are not supporting it, so I don't know quite where (supporters') optimism comes from. It just doesn't seem to be supported in the academic community or the community."
Taylor said he was not surprised at the survey's results.
"The faculty have a lot of concerns," he said. "I'm not so sure how many of those faculty are folks that support athletics, not that that makes any difference. I'll be anxious to see how that compares with the phone survey we took."
That survey polled 1,300 people, including more than 200 faculty members, on the Division I question. Its results should be in about a month.
Taylor said it's good to know the faculty's concerns, although he said only 12 of them showed up at Wednesday's forum.
"What really is their level of concern, if only 12 showed up?" he said.
Anyway, Taylor said, "this decision is not going to be based on a popularity poll, or a vote at all. It's going to be based on what we feel is best for the university."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Pantera at (701) 241-5541