February 19, 2010

ATHLETICS PANEL REPORT SUBMITTED TO UNH PRESIDENT

DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston accepted this week a report from a special panel he commissioned to examine funding for UNH athletics programs.

Huddleston said he would review and respond to the recommendations over the next several weeks and in the context of the goals of UNH’s 10-year strategic plan.

The report recommends that Athletics be budgeted as a core UNH function, and not be treated as an “auxiliary” for budget purposes. Another recommendation calls for a dramatic increase in fundraising and that “gate” revenues should be increased. Substantial investments must be made in the Whittemore Center, the Field House and Cowell Stadium. Finally, student pride for athletics should be reinforced. To view the report in its entirety, go to: http://www.unh.edu/president/markhuddleston/speeches/athletics_report_final022010.pdf.

“I appointed the panel because I wanted a careful and comprehensive review of our Athletics program as a basis for moving to a more sustainable model of athletics funding. This was a daunting task, and I would like to thank everyone who served on the panel for their hard work,” Huddleston said. “They looked at our peer institutions, and their analysis will help inform the discussion as we move forward in implementing a 10-year strategic vision for the university overall, with Athletics as a priority.”

He noted that UNH’s athletic programs are top-notch and its student athletes are a great source of pride for the entire campus, both for their prowess on the playing fields and their accomplishments in the classroom. In particular, Huddleston pointed to the recent news that UNH ranks highest in the America East Conference, the Colonial Athletic Conference and in the top five nationally among all public and private institutions for the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of its student athletes.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

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