UPEI to act on all Athletics report findings

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2010 12 29 09 31 59 UPEI Panther logo

ISN – Charlottetown, PEI (July 31, 2014)—UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa
Abd-El-Aziz has released and fully endorsed the recommendations from the
independent fact-finding review about the Department of Athletics and
Recreation, prepared by Dave MacNeill.

“I have always said my priority would be to spend time with faculty, staff,
students, and members of the PEI community to realize key issues of
importance from their perspectives. And very clearly, a successful
Athletics program at UPEI matters greatly to the community we serve,”
commented President Abd-El-Aziz.

The President noted that through this review process and the events that
led to it, senior administration at UPEI now, not only fully understands
the issues the Department has faced, but also more fully appreciates the
important role Athletics can contribute to a positive university-community
connection.

The University appreciates and respects the report’s recommendations and
has developed an implementation time line for each recommendation that is
based upon University policies and procedures as well as its financial
situation. The recommendations are:

• Establish an Athletics Advisory Board
• Establish a fundraising sub-committee of the Board of Governors
• Appoint a dedicated Development Officer to the Department
• Secure long-term stable leadership and staffing within the Department
• Develop an Athletic Financial Aid stability model
• Implement transparent, accountable financial policies
• Review and adjust coaching salaries

In a clear demonstration of the University’s commitment to change, the
Athletics Advisory Board will be chaired by President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. The
fundraising sub-committee will be chaired by Bruce Donaldson, the current
UPEI women’s hockey coach, who was recently named the Associate Director of
Development for the University, starting in October. Donaldson is the
long-time and current Branch Manager for TD Canada Trust in Charlottetown.

As the University acts on these recommendations, the Department will be
directed by a transition team co-led by the Vice-President, Administration
and Finance Jackie Podger, and the Manager, Campus and Community Recreation
Stephanie Knickle.

The transition team has been put in place as Bill Schurman, the current
Department director, recently informed the University that he will not be
available to continue in the position. The University thanks Schurman for
his tremendous contribution while UPEI navigated through difficult
financial times across all departments.

“Billy was asked to come into a department under tough financial
circumstances and effect change. He balanced the budget for the Department
and his contributions will live on and serve the Department well into the
future. We wish him well,” said Podger.

A comprehensive search for a new Director of Athletics and Recreation will
take place.

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