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Faculty Members Making a Difference with Black Bear Athletics

University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has established a new Faculty Liaison Program with the Department of Athletics in which faculty members volunteer to serve as academic mentors, role models and advocates for each of UMaine’s intercollegiate athletic teams.

Faculty liaisons have three key areas of focus: student-athlete welfare, academic integrity and commitment to rules compliance. They help student-athletes navigate the challenges and opportunities of a college experience, emphasize the importance of academic achievement and facilitate effective academic counseling, especially at the beginning of each semester. Liaisons also become familiar with the NCAA Manual and work with the head coaches to ensure that team members are periodically briefed on the rules pertaining to them.

Duties of a faculty liaison include attendance at home contests and some away competitions, assistance in student-athlete exit interviews and, at the coaches’ request, help in selecting team captains. Liaisons also communicate with the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative and/or Director of Athletics Steve Abbott on any matter of concern regarding student-athlete welfare, academic integrity and rules compliance.

All of Maine’s athletics programs participate in the Faculty Liaison Program. Abbott makes faculty liaison recommendations to President Ferguson for approval and formal appointment to two-year terms. Faculty liaisons must hold UMaine faculty appointments. And because the program is voluntary, faculty liaisons receive no compensation, although they may travel with their team on a space-available basis.

The UMaine teams still seeking faculty liaisons are: men’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Faculty members wishing to be considered for the Faculty Liaison Program should submit a one-page expression of interest by email or mail to: Bob Strong, UMaine’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, 301 Corbett Business Building.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, (207) 581-3745

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