National Meeting- 2020

2020 COIA Meeting Feb 14-16

Summary – 17th Annual Meeting of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA): How Athletic Departments Function and the Faculty’s Role in the Process

Louisiana State University (LSU)

February 14 – 15, 2020

Athletics Department administrators and staff detailed their responsibilities and role at LSU, and shared their experiences on best practices to support recruitment, academic success, retention, graduation, and personal and professional development of student-athletes. They highlighted the value of transparency in intercollegiate athletics, and the importance of their relationships and collaborations with campus staff who are their counterparts, and with faculty. Transparency included sharing the actual value of services provided to student-athletes, including those not on scholarship. An LSU student-athlete described the significant positive impact and value of her experience. She stressed that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it, and she reminded faculty that even though student-athletes receive many resources, they are still human and they are young. They still have many choices to make and must live with their decisions. A past faculty senate president for LSU detailed impressions of interactions with the Athletics Department and encouraged faculty to form collaborations, insist on transparency, especially related to budgets, and make sure that academic successes are mentioned as often as athletic successes.

Representatives from the NCAA, The Drake Group, and the Knight Commission talked about current issues where reform is needed, recent and pending state and federal legislation on Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL), efforts of the NCAA to investigate problems that had been identified and solicit feedback from stakeholders, and finances of university athletic programs.  

Common themes centered on past reforms in intercollegiate athletics and current best practices that have enhanced student success, including the value of having the director of the academic center report to an academic administrator, a guest coach program that included faculty and staff, weekly academic reports of student-athletes to coaches, student assessments to develop academic programs . Presenters shared a commitment to the importance of a quality education for student athletes. They recognized components of the college experience for non-athletes that were difficult to duplicate for student-athletes, including study abroad and internships, as well as job placement after LSU, and the pros and cons of online courses.

Opinions among presenters and participants varied, but there was general agreement that reforms are needed in intercollegiate athletics, and the final outcomes on NIL will require continued communication between groups interested in the welfare of student-athletes. To this end, David Ridpath (The Drake Group) urged support for federal bill, HR4428, known as the Shalala Bill, to establish a 2-year Presidential Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to investigate athletics funding, the antitrust exemption, Name, Image and Likeness, limits for coach salaries and booster donations, and more. https://www.thedrakegroup.org/tell-congress/read-the-proposed-bill/.

Minutes

17th Annual Meeting of COIA: How Athletic Departments Function and the Faculty’s Role in the Process

Louisiana State University (LSU)

February 15, 2020

Present: Terry Blakney (Penn State University); Adrien Bouchet (University of Tulsa); Mike Bowen (University of South Florida); John Curran (Eastern Michigan University); Kevin Cope, Fran Flory, Walt Holliday,  Joan King, Elicia Lathorn, Jeff Martin, Lori Martin, Stephanie Rempe, Milan Stokes, Carole Walker (Louisiana State University); Donna Gauthier, Anita Hazelwood, David Reid (University of Louisiana-Lafayette); Laveria Hutchison (University of Houston); Darren Kelly (University of Houston); Andrew Klein (Texas A&M University); Binh Nguyen, Jennifer Franklin (NCAA); Jeffrey Ogbar (University of Connecticut); Bonnie Ownley, Gary Skolits (University of Tennessee, Knoxville); Amy Perko (Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics); John Putman (San Diego State University); David Ridpath (Ohio University, The Drake Group); Kelley Withy, (University of Hawaii); Jeri Zemke (University of Alabama)

Bonnie Ownley and Joan King welcomed the group to the meeting. Joan introduced LSU Provost Stacia Haynie, and thanked her for providing support for the event.

Stephanie Rempe, Executive Deputy Director of Athletics/Chief Operating Officer, LSU Athletics. Transparency in Athletic Departments and Faculty Oversight through Athletic Councils. (Presentation slides posted). Stephanie shared her experiences as a senior women administrator in athletics departments at different universities. She stated that the LSU Athletics Director valued the relationship with campus, transparency, and collaboration. In her experience, the roles of Athletics Councils and the focus of faculty on athletics varied greatly at different universities, e.g. at some universities, student-athletes are interviewed as a focus group, while other schools focus on academic performance of student-athletes or compliance of the Athletics Department. She talked about best practices for academic support of student-athletes. At LSU, the director of the academic center for student-athletes reports to an academic administrator (provost). The Cox Communications Center for student-athletes is focused on student retention and graduation. LSU supports bringing back student-athletes to finish their degree, e.g. if the student-athlete did not finish within the past 6 years and left LSU in good-standing, they can return and receive the same scholarship that they received upon entrance. If they return to LSU in more than 6 years, they give them tuition and fees. Stephanie suggested that recruiting student-athletes is like recruiting honors students, because they are both recruiting special groups, and at LSU they are exploring how they can work with the Honors College. The relationship between Athletics with campus has changed in regards to recruitment to focus more on academic opportunities, e.g. recruitment of student-athletes no longer occurs on weekends, happens during the week. This is a philosophical change for the LSU campus. At LSU, they try to engage student-athletes with on-campus activities, e.g. helping other students with Move-In Day. They learn from and share ideas and campus tours with general admissions for student-athlete admissions. They have given student-athletes travel abroad opportunities (and class credit) with trips scheduled between the end of the spring semester and beginning of summer session (e.g., a 10-day trip to Europe, China, or Tahiti with an anthropology professor). Faculty go with the group to provide instruction to allow students to receive credit for the trip. They have also found that their E- Sports Center is a big recruitment tool.

Jeff Martin, Football’s Lead Analyst and Director of on Campus Recruiting, LSU, An Overview of Student Athlete Recruitment. Jeff indicated that he focused on helping recruits see LSU through his lens. He arranges for them to visit academic departments during recruitment, and assists with player development. He mentioned the importance of mental health and emotional support for success of student-athletes. His strategy for recruitment success is to start with a plan to determine who to recruit, get to know the student-athlete, and develop them using strategies to assist them to be successful. For example, the Athletics Department checks students for learning styles to determine tutor assignments, and all coaches receive weekly reports on student academic performance. Jeff stated, “Football may or may not build character, but it can reveal character.” He indicated that football recruits at LSU expect to play in the NFL, because a high rate of them do. But he realized the need to help them with careers other than player, such as strength and conditioning coach and team coach. He tells them to leverage what they have learned in football to consider other careers and he connects them with alumni. Jeff discussed the transfer portal and why students chose it. He felt that player impatience was the main reason, and that QB was the position most likely (65%) to consider transfer. Previously the university made the decision on whether the student could transfer, now the students make the decision.

Fran Flory, Volleyball Coach, LSU. The Impact of a Coach on Student Athletes’ Academic and Other Experiences on Campus. Fran stated that “Where kids come from matters.” She shared her perception of current students: they are not taught to deal with challenges, they seem to not know how to fail, they share readily and want attention and empathy, and they do not want to be challenged. She has meetings with her team in a classroom (rather than the gym) to discuss leadership and accountability. She felt that the negative perception of intercollegiate athletics from some students came from those who did not want to be there. She stresses to her players that college athletics is a job and they must invest in every aspect of their job to be successful; this included practice hours, academic hours, and community service hours, which are all required. She tells them that signing a scholarship is like signing a job contract for the first time. Fran also mentioned that students, even those not on scholarship, receive more funding than some assistant coaches. As an exercise she added up the value of services that volleyball players receive: the sums were $40,000 for non-scholarship student-athletes and >$100,000 for scholarship student-athletes. Students who engage more, gain more. Fran talked about the influential role that coaches, faculty, and advisors have with students. As a coach, she is not supposed to interact directly with faculty, so she counsels her students on how to manage interactions with faculty. She encourages her players to read, write, study, and teach their academic material to learn it. She also teaches them about the impact of social media – how it can follow you, to consider whether their parents would be proud of a post, and whether their posts represent LSU.   

Walt Holliday, LSU Director of Academic Affairs, Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, Ensuring Academic Success of Student Athletes. Walt discussed his goals to prepare, graduate, promote, and nurture students. It takes a village and partnerships are key. A footprint is needed along with a voice outside of the academic center. There is a need to get involved in policy changes on campus and to encourage/promote sincerity, honesty, integrity, and transparency in athletics. To enhance understanding between campus and athletics, they have a guest coach program that includes custodial staff, faculty, parking staff, and others on campus. Guest coaches tour the facility, and athletics personnel discuss significant issues and other details with them so that guest coaches can share the story with others. To promote academic success, they use nationally certified tutors. They conduct student assessments and consider individual behavior, and then tailor academic programs for student-athletes. Walt stated that the athletics department tries to meet each student where they are to provide an academic plan based on the background of each student. He explained that faculty could say, “I could just throw you the ball, or I could make sure you can catch it. That means I ask you where you want it, how you catch best, etc.” Walt mentioned that he is a member of N4A (National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals), which shares ideas on student success. The graduation rate of LSU students-athletes increased to 90% within 6 years after they involved the academic advisors in athletics in on-campus activities. This led to weekly student academic reports to athletics, and engaging student-athletes in Math Lab, and a reading program. Current challenges with student-athletes include: providing internships and study abroad due to time constraints, determining if they are in the right major, focusing on job placement after LSU, and online courses where faculty are not available. Walt indicated that online courses must be managed very carefully on an individual basis.

Carole Walker, LSU Senior Associate Director and Student Advisor for Women’s Basketball, Soccer, and Softball, Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, The Advisors Role in Academic Success of Student Athletes. Carole said that she asks student-athletes where their academic program going to lead them, and she reminds them that their goal is to graduate. She encourages them to step-up their game in the classroom and be proactive. She indicated that teaching them time management was as important as tutoring in academics. Carole has a seat at the table of several committees on campus and can provide them with the athletics perspective, e.g. course schedules. The accountability rules of NCAA are shared with university academic leadership so everyone understands and so that all students can make progress in their academic programs. This has led to increased collaborations and the ability to connect the right people to increase student success, e.g. faculty use Grades First to report student grades to athletics. Carole also tells faculty to hold student-athletes to the same accountability as all other students. Her biggest challenges with students are math and science. Her biggest challenges with faculty are that some think that the Athletics Department controls everything – they do not, and some faculty refuse to communicate with Athletics.

Milan Stokes, LSU Student Athlete, Experiences of a Student Athlete on Campus. Milan graduated recently and was a volleyball player for Fran Flory. She emphasized the benefits of services and opportunities that are available to student-athletes. She pointed out that students need to know how to create a resume, how to network, how to interview and compose a follow-up email, and how to use professional tactics. She indicated that students need to know the benefits of life coaching as well coaching on the court. She described the value of capitalizing on the lessons learned from the people you meet, creating a positive work ethic, and learning the benefits of assertiveness. She also gained confidence. Milan had advice for student athletes: Take the time to smell the flowers; Look inside yourself and ask, “Who is she?”; and You get out of it what you put in! It is a two-way street.

And she had advice for faculty: While it is true that student-athletes are given many resources, we are still human beings who are young, must make choices, and live with our decisions. Milan also shared her thoughts on Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). She asked, “Why fix what’s not broken?” NIL can negatively affect college sports, which should be about sports, not money.

Binh Nguyen, NCAA Director of Academic and Membership Affairs, and Jennifer Henderson, NCAA Managing Director Academic and Membership Affairs, Updates on NCAA Rules and Regulations (Presentation slides posted)

  • In the past 6 years, the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) has increased across the board to 89%. There were increases in all demographics.
  • The Academic Progress Report is under review and NCAA is seeking feedback on different topics, e.g. should walk-ons be included in the calculation, or should only student-athletes on scholarships be included. The initial feedback is to keep it status quo.
  • Academic-based transfer models – Is there a way that student-athletes can transfer to another university and graduate within 5 years? It may be possible based on GPA.
  • The first Division I Academic-Athletics Summit (university presidents/provosts/athletic directors) was held in January 2020 at the NCAA Convention. The purpose was to foster collaborations, look at trends in retention and other measures of academic success, identify high impact practices (internships and study abroad for student-athletes), and create action plans.
  • Wrestling Academic Enhancement Working Group – The purpose is to improve APR for wrestling. There are 78 schools that have wrestling, but GPAs are generally low. Characteristics of the wrestling athletes include high level of first-generation college-bound students, highest use of Pell grants among student-athletes, report higher than normal use of pain medication and amphetamines, and have a high level of mental health issues.
  • Academic Unit Criteria – revenue distribution based on academic performance. The funds come from Turner media contracts. There are three ways for schools to meet the criteria: 1) single year APR = 985, 2) graduation success rate = 90%, or 3) graduation rate of student student-athletes are 13 percentage points higher than the Federal Graduation Rates (all other students). Most schools (85%) meet one of the benchmarks. Funding goes to the conference for distribution, which averages $42K/school.
  • Student-Athlete Degree Completion – Funding is available ($1.2 million) to support degree completion by former student-athletes at limited resource institutions. This program is currently available for basketball only, but they want to expand it. Universities are required to have a return to graduate program to fulfill their commitment to student-athletes to provide not only the opportunity for athletics competition, but also an education.
  • Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) – Up to $300,000 per year is available in grant funding to support programs and initiatives that enhance the academic experience for student-athletes. The NCAA has spent $18,000,000 since 2013 in grant funding to limited resource schools.
  •  AASP Preconference Certification and Compliance Workshop was held for 12 pilot AASP-eligible institutions  

Jennifer Henderson – Follow NCAA on Twitter for the latest information.

  • State and Federal Legislative and Political Landscape
    • Goal Study – Most student-athletes who transfer do so for athletic reasons because 100% of them expect they are going to become a professional player or be in the Olympics. Student-athletes feel pressure from parents. This report/study will be released the last week in February.
    • Sports wagering is still not permissible by the NCAA because it puts the integrity of the game and the well-being of students-athletes at risk.
    • Federal – Two federal bills related to NIL. Several members of Congress and presidential candidates have expressed interest in NIL.
    • State – California Senate bill 206, which supports NIL, becomes law, effective 2023. Additional states (35) have introduced or are expected to introduce NIL legislation this year.
  • NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislative Working Group Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) – The collegiate athletics model in the USA is unique, but probably should be modernized. Currently, it is against NCAA rules for a student to be paid to promote a product. Olympic athletes can now receive endorsements in a sport separate from their NCAA college sports. But CA (2023) and FL (2020) legalized payment by third parties to student-athletes for their NIL. In 2019, the NCAA Board of Governors created a working group to look at NIL over all 3 divisions for all sports and solicit feedback. They developed basic principles:
  • Make a clear distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities; Make clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible; Reaffirm that student-athletes are students first, and NOT university employees; Enhance principles of diversity, inclusion, and gender equity; Protect the integrity of the recruiting process; payment for NIL should not be used to induce to selection of or transfer to a specific school; Regulation of NIL should be transparent and enforceable; Student-athletes should be able to use his/her NIL, similar to college students who are not student-athletes, unless there is a compelling reason to differentiate. They should be able to promote their legitimate commercial activities (book, giving lessons, etc.).
  • Feedback included: NIL is too close to “Pay for Play”’; Commercial value of a student-athletes’ NIL may be derived mostly from association with their school or participation in NCAA athletics; to ‘Use NIL to promote other commercial activity’. A presidential subcommittee of the Working group will provide input on what kind of assistance the NCAA may ask from Congress to support modernization of the rules in college sports.
  • NCAA Division I Legislative Solutions Group – Solution groups on: Group licensing (EA Sports), Individual licensing (student and university trademarks), and Student-athlete work product. Division 1 ideas will be discussed at conference meetings and recommendations are due in April. Will there be a compromise on NIL with a shared revenue model if the student uses some trademark of their university?
  • NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee – will lead the education of student-athletes. They have developed a tool to help campus administrators engage with student-athletes. They are creating a plan to prepare student-athletes to engage with the Legislation Solutions Group to provide ideas, solutions, and feedback. The students will be spokespersons.
  • A timeline was provided and a vote on legislative solutions is anticipated at the NCAA Convention, January 13-16, 2021.
  • Litigation is ongoing. Go to www.ncaa.org/takingaction for more information.

Kevin Cope, LSU Past Faculty Senate President (for 10 years), The Role of Faculty Governance in Athletics. Kevin discussed his experiences on the relationship between the university, the faculty senate, and the athletics department. He expressed concern about financial matters of athletics departments, including that better bookkeeping was needed in athletics programs and that athletics program staff may not have the credentials needed to manage budgets. He stated that revenue pooling within conferences, privatization and satellite companies, and athletic foundations made it difficult to follow the money. He felt that university presidents would like compliant FARs therefore, faculty should always be involved in selection of the FAR. What else can faculty do? He stated that there was a need for better ongoing relationships between faculty senates and athletics, and that interactive relationships between sports and academics is beneficial. If faculty are interviewed for television or newspaper, he encouraged them to report both athletic and academic success topics. He suggested using comedy and to tailor the three-sentence quotation. He said that the faculty senate should modulate intra-game television spots and there should be some mention of academics. Kevin suggested that faculty contact the strategic communications units at their universities. He thought that faculty senates should share in recruitment of student-athletes and recommended extending the length of leadership in faculty senate to get things done.

David Ridpath, The Drake Group, Overview of the Issues Surrounding Outside Compensation of Student Athletes. (Presentation slides posted). The DRAKE Group wasformed by the President of Drake University in 1990s because there are systemic problems in college sports. The mission of the Drake Group is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports. The vision is to create an atmosphere on college campuses that encourages intellectual and personal growth for students and demands excellence and professional integrity from teaching faculty. He mentioned that the term student-athlete was developed by the NCAA in the 1950s so that athletes could not be treated as employees. The goals of the Drake Group are to ensure that universities provide accountability of trustees and personnel by disclosing information on the quality of education college athletes receive; lobby for proposals that ensure a quality education for college athletes; support faculty and staff whose job security and professional standing are threatened when they defend academic standards in intercollegiate sports; influence public discourse on current issues in sports and higher education; and coordinate local and national reform efforts. We are in the middle of a basketball scandal. GSR and APR are flawed; athletics and sports medicine should never be under the control of the athletics department; sports should never be two-semester sports. See information on the Drake website: https://www.thedrakegroup.org/. Dave stated that he was formerly a proponent of never paying student-athletes, but his opinion has changed. If college athletes are students first, they must have all the rights of other students; otherwise, they are employees and should receive pay. There is bipartisan support for NIL in Washington, DC. For many college athletes, the height of their marketability is when they are college players.

David described the federal bill, HR4428, known as the Shalala Bill, to establish a Presidential Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to investigate the relationship between institutions of higher education and intercollegiate athletic programs, and for other purposes https://www.thedrakegroup.org/tell-congress/read-the-proposed-bill/. The Drake Group wants COIA to support the bill that establishes formation of a 2-year presidential commission to review athletics funding, the antitrust exemption, Name, Image and Likeness, limits for coach salaries (no coach should be paid more than the highest paid professor), limits for booster donations, and more. Individuals can also support this bill on the Drake Group website.

Amy Perko, Chief Executive Officer, The Knight Commission (KC) on Intercollegiate Athletics. Possible Models for Implementation of Name, Image and Likeness Compensation for Student Athletes. The Knight Commission was formed in the late 1980s to strengthen the educational mission of college sports and was formed by college presidents and past presidents. They believe that college sports are part of the fabric of our culture and our universities. In 2001 they recommended that players must be on track to graduate; this was enacted in 2011 and graduation rates have improved. They also recommended that that NCAA revenue distribution should include academic accomplishments, which went into effect this past year. KC is leading transformational change and they prioritize the health, education, and safety of student-athletes. They are aligned with the Drake Group on transparency of athletics. NCAA funding for academic incentives comes from March Madness. The 2017 revenue of college sports was $1.1 billion (844.3 million from media and $133.4 million from ticket sales) and was distributed to NCAA DI, DII, and DIII). Overtime, the money for academic incentives and competition wins will be equalized. Amy gave a financial overview of the Power 5 conferences (or Autonomous 5: ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) and the big differences in where the money originates. The total funds are $2.7 billion for these teams in 2020. There is significant information on financial patterns by school: https://www.knightcommission.org/.  KC is studying the structure and governance of NCAA Division I to ask whether the current governance, structure, competitions, policies, and benefits prioritize the health, safety, and academic success of student-athletes.

Name, Image, and Likeness – The KC commissioned a paper on NIL in 2016 (Feldman, G. The NCAA and “Non-Game Related” Student-Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Restrictions). They advocate for uniformity in rule changes (rather than different laws in every state), and that there should be no institutional involvement in endorsements. Some state laws are trying do more than NIL, such as require universities to provide disability insurance. The NCAA does not receive revenue from football, but revenue distribution from NCAA depends on having 150 scholarships, which are often from football. There are college students who leverage social media presence to make money, why shouldn’t student-athletes be able to do that? There needs to be an oversight body operated by independent directors with a strong voice from current or past athletes. Olympic sports model has regulations as well, such as a limit to endorsements during the Olympic games. The Knight Commission supports the overall goal of the Shalala bill, but they have not reviewed it yet.

Minutes COIA Business Meeting 2/15/2020

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Attendees:  Bonnie Ownley, Joan King, Kelley Withy, John Putman, Mike Bowen, Adrien Bouchet, Laveria Hutchison, Jeri Zemke, Gary Skolits

The business meeting was called to order by Bonnie Ownley at 6:05 pm. John Putman moved and Kelley Withy seconded a motion to approve the business meeting minutes from 2/23/2019. The motion was approved unanimously.

Kelley Withy will send draft minutes of today’s business meeting to Vera Hutchison who will send to Joan King for names of individuals and corrections and send to Bonnie Ownley.

There were problems sending out notices to Division I Basketball members, who are not in Division I Football, due to membership changes every year. Bonnie Ownley will update the entire mailing list to include those universities.

Kelley Withy will send out draft minutes and post on the COIA website as soon as they are approved by the Steering Committee. The email to the COIA membership will include the election slate of those who have been nominated for membership on the Steering Committee (Laveria Hutchison, Jane Albrecht, Jeri Zemke).

A letter to Division I Basketball schools will be drafted and approved by the steering committee.

Adrien Bouchet will be working on arrangements for the COIA meeting in 2021 with the NCAA in Indianapolis.

Officers: Bonnie Ownley moves to past chair, Joan King moves to chair.

Nominations:

Adrien Bouchet for Vice Chair

Jane Albrecht for Secretary

John Putman will serve on the Academic Integrity Committee

Laveria Hutchison – SC member at large

Jeri Zemke – SC member at large

Committee membership:

Administration/Communications: Kelley Withy, Bonnie Ownley

Academic Integrity: John Putman, Vera Hutchison

Student Athlete Welfare: Scott Gwozdz, Jeri Zemke

Joan King will contact Andrew Klein of Texas A&M to discuss his choice of committee membership.

A motion was made (Kelley Withy) and seconded (John Putman) to add a non-voting chair emeritus position to the Steering Committee to preserve institutional knowledge. The motion was supported unanimously. S/he will review the bylaws and come back to the group with recommendations. The first chair emeritus will be Mike Bowen.

John Putman will contact Amy Perko (Knight Commission) to develop a survey of COIA membership.

A regular steering committee meeting time was established: First Thursday of the month, 2 pm Eastern, 1 pm Central, 12 pm Mountain, 11 am Pacific, 8 am/9 am Hawaii time via Zoom. The next meeting will be held via Zoom on 03/05/2020 at 2 pm Eastern.

Charge for Committees:

Administration/Communications:

  • Post a summary of the meeting presentations, the draft business meeting minutes, and PowerPoint of presenters with permission on the COIA website.
  • Send a summary of the meeting presentations, draft business meeting, and election slate to COIA membership by email.
  • Send information on HR 5528 to membership and ask them to vote on it.
  • Send an invitation letter and summary information to Division I basketball schools
  • Add Steering committee contact information to the online site

Academic Integrity:

  • Faculty Survey working with Amy Perko

Student-Athlete Welfare Committee

  • Review information on mental health Issues and concussion – develop best practices statement

Annual meeting in 2022 – Houston or Tulsa. We will consider alternating between meeting with the NCAA and a member school.

Discussions followed on establishing 501c3 status for COIA. The impetus is the annual cost of the COIA webpage. The webpage incurs significant costs, including the website host, updates for the security certificate, and the URL, which Mike Bowen has been paying. Remaining funds from the meeting registration will go towards website costs this year. Creating a 501c3 would enable COIA to take tax-deductible donations. However, it was noted that a non-profit requires a permanent address, which is difficult as steering committee membership changes. Brief discussion followed on whether we should charge member senates nominal dues of $20 annually to pay for COIA website and travel for one national speaker.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:14 pm.

Submitted by Kelley Withy

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