Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

06-28-07

President Geoffroy's letter to athletics director Jamie Pollard

To: Jamie Pollard, Director of Athletics

From: Gregory L. Geoffroy, President

Re: Proposed Life Skills position for ISU athletics program

I have received the enclosed report from the Athletics Council concerning the proposed volunteer Life Skills position for the ISU athletics program. I am writing to give my approval for the position, subject to the guidelines and recommendations in the Athletics Council report and with the following points of clarification:

  • The person filling this position must serve in a strictly volunteer role and not be funded with any State, University, Athletic, or ISU Foundation funds;
  • The person holding this position is explicitly prohibited from acting as an agent to promote a particular religion or religious viewpoint, pressuring in any way student- athletes to choose religion over non-religion, or coercing, directly or indirectly, student- athletes to participate in any type of religious activity;
  • The person selected for this position must be prepared for and committed to assisting with the full range of diverse belief systems that he or she may reasonably encounter among student-athletes, and be prepared to assist student-athletes who request assistance in finding campus, community, and other resources related to those belief systems;
  • The person holding this position must comply fully with the university's non- discrimination policy.

In carrying out the volunteer work associated with this position, there must be no indication that the university, as a public body, is perceived to be promoting or giving preference to one religious faith or viewpoint over any others or promoting religion over non-religion.

In approving this request, I am directing the Athletics Department to include in its existing annual confidential student-athlete evaluation and exit interview survey questions intended to assess the effectiveness and value of the Volunteer Life Skills Assistant position. It will be especially important to determine whether the student-athletes experienced or perceived any religious activities or actions that they believe were inappropriate. I am asking Dr. Paula Morrow, ISU's Faculty Athletics Representative, to review those responses and give me a confidential report on her analysis by June 1, 2008.

Many interested parties will be watching and carefully examining the activities of the person filling this position. It is thus incumbent upon you and your staff to ensure that the conditions of this approval are fully met without compromise.

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