NCAA Taps Economics Prof for Faculty Mentor Role
Aug. 24, 2010
The NCAA has selected Dr. Kurt Beron, an economics professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, to join a new group that will mentor faculty athletic representatives (FARs) at universities throughout the conference.
The new group, the Fellows Institute, was created to prepare experienced FARs to take a more active role in NCAA governance.
More than 1,000 schools belong to the NCAA’s Division III, and more than 450 FARs act as liaisons among faculty, student athletes and the conference. Beron is one of 30 FARs chosen for the role of fellow. He has served as chairman of the NCAA’s National Research Committee for four years.
“The idea is to groom more seasoned and experienced FARs to be instrumental in the NCAA structure and help the system work better for the athletes and the universities as a whole,” Beron said.
Most previous training for FARs targeted faculty members who were new to the position, but this professional development program is aimed at experienced FARs who can act as mentors. The fellows institute will take place annually, with the first scheduled for October in Indianapolis.
The institute will bring together some of the nation’s most experienced FARs to discuss best practices. They will work together to develop strategies to share with other schools that encounter the inevitable clashes between academic and athletic responsibilities.
Beron was nominated for the position by Amy Carlton, commissioner of UT Dallas’ American Southwest Conference. He expects to visit other schools in coming months to help them develop standards and deal with issues. Beron has served as UT Dallas’ FAR since 1999.
FARs are valuable to a school when it faces questions that fall in the “gray areas,” Beron said. The NCAA has extensive rules dealing with many aspects of athletics on campus. But Division III schools vary greatly in size and athletic structure, so there are often issues that can’t be resolved simply by looking at the rulebook.
“I was happy to be nominated by our commissioner for the fellow position,” he said. “I am also grateful that I’ve always had the support of our president, Dr. David Daniel, and our vice president for student affairs, Darrelene Rachavong. I look forward to the chance to attend the institute and put what I learn there to good use.”