The Committee on Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics held a Faculty Forum to discuss Midwest Conference initiatives regarding recruiting and nontraditional seasons Tuesday, Nov. 10. This forum was open to all faculty members. Members of the faculty were contacted by e-mail before the forum with information outlining the conference proposals. The forum was moderated by Acting Director of Athletics and Head Hockey Coach Mike Szkodzinski and Associate Professor of Theatre Kathy Privatt. In attendance were nine faculty members, including three faculty members serving on the Committee on Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics: Privatt, Professor of History Jerald Podair and Associate Professor of Chemistry David Hall. Three coaches were also in attendance, including Szkodzinksi. The first initiative would transition the Midwest Conference recruiting policies to NCAA Division III guidelines. Currently, Lawrence operates under the stricter guidelines of the Midwest Conference, which specify that coaches are not permitted to enter high schools for meetings with the coaches or recruits during school hours. Furthermore, coaches are not allowed to enter the homes of recruits. Szkodzinski believes these limitations hamper Lawrence coaches’ recruiting efficacy and efficiency. “It’s individual attention that nets the most [recruits],” stated Szkodzinski. “The key to landing a student-athlete is the personal connection with the student, the personal connection with the family and again, giving the personal attention to them that we are known for here at Lawrence.” Head Softball Coach Kim Tatro explained that these restrictions deter football recruits the most, stating, “The home visit is such a big part of the culture of football recruiting.” Nancy Wall, associate dean of the faculty and associate professor of biology, spoke of the benefits of this initiative, stating, “In a world where communication has become less personal it seems [.] to be actually more in character with Lawrence as an institution to make recruiting even more personal.” Stewart Purkey, associate professor of education, served as NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative on the Committee on Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics 2006-2007. He commented, “In the past … we didn’t do this partly as a way of distinguishing ourselves from other conferences, and clearly times seem to have changed in terms of getting people to come here. So what we did in the past … shouldn’t guide what we do in the future.” Szkodzinski called attention to ways these initiatives could increase diversity at Lawrence, by enabling coaches to use more productive outof- state recruiting tactics such as going to college fairs at high schools. Podair said, “I would say to people who say we’re somehow demeaning ourselves by doing this that a lot of very good schools take the time to go and visit on-campus.” The second proposal would enable teams at Lawrence to have nontraditional seasons. Twenty hours per week would be allocated for a team to meet with coaches. Presently, coaches cannot organize their teams in the off-season. Beloit College, Carroll University, Grinnell College, Illinois College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, Monmouth College, Ripon College and St. Norbert College accompany Lawrence University in the Midwest Conference. Currently, NESCAC and UAA are the only two other NCAA Division III conferences that operate under the same restrictions as the MWC. Privatt, Szkodzinski and Tatro will be attending the Midwest Conference meeting Nov. 22 and 23 at Beloit College to vote. This vote determines whether the proposals will be presented to the faculties of the MWC colleges and universities for a full-faculty vote. If two thirds of the attendees at this meeting vote in favor of the initiatives, the vote will be brought back to Lawrence faculty members winter term in a faculty meeting. The final decision will be made on March 14 and 15, 2010. If these initiatives pass, change would go into effect immediately. A second faculty forum took place Wednesday, Nov. 11 to accommodate faculty class schedules in the hopes of greater attendance. For those faculty members who were unable to attend either date, a Moodle page with an open forum was created on behalf of the committee to continue the discussion beyond the faculty forums. This Moodle page is open to all members of the faculty.