Madison (WKOW) -- from UW Madison: The University of Wisconsin-Madison is in its third cycle of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program and has created a Web site for campus and community members to stay informed, Chancellor Carolyn "Biddy" Martin announced Wednesday.
"We are looking forward to our self-study period, which will enable us to reaffirm our commitment to the core values of intercollegiate athletics," Martin says.
Martin appointed Darrell Bazzell, vice chancellor for administration, to lead the process.
More than 50 individuals from across campus are serving on various committees to study academic integrity, governance and commitment to rules compliance as well as a commitment to gender and diversity and student-athlete well-being.
The athletics certification program is designed to benefit the university by providing a chance to increase campuswide awareness of athletics issues and challenges; to affirm the positive aspects of intercollegiate athletics; and to resolve any concerns that may be identified during the self-study program.
The program opens athletics to the rest of the university community and to the public.
The university successfully completed similar self-studies and received NCAA certification in 1994 and 2002.
A public campus forum will be held in March to report on the self-study findings.
Within each area to be studied, the program has standards known as operating principles that were adopted by the NCAA to establish benchmarks to which all Division I members are evaluated.
When Wisconsin concludes its study, an external team of reviewers, comprised of peers from other colleges, universities or conferences, will conduct a three-day evaluation visit on campus.
The scheduled visit to Wisconsin is set for Sept. 21-23.
The peer-review team will report to the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletic Certification, which will then determine the institution's certification status and will publicly announce the decision.
For institutions that fail to conduct a comprehensive self-study or to correct problems, sanctions could be imposed.
The three options of certifications status are certified, certified with conditions and not certified.
While institutions have an opportunity to correct deficient areas, those institutions that do not take corrective actions may be ruled ineligible for NCAA championships.
The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics.
The primary purpose of the association is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the education program and the athlete as an integral part of the study body.
Activities of the NCAA membership include formulating rules of play for NCAA sports, conducting national championships, adopting and enforcing standards of eligibility, and studying all phases of intercollegiate athletics.