Academics & Athletics
Athletics Philosophy Statement
The Wittenberg Athletic Department is an integral part of the university that strives to achieve the same standards of excellence that exist within various academic disciplines at the university. Furthermore, the athletic department embraces the concept that the student-athletes are first and foremost students, possessing individual rights, academic abilities, personal interests and ambitions comparable to those of other members of the general student body.
Wittenberg University is committed to the principles and practices of amateurism, student-athlete welfare, gender equity, sportsmanship and fair play, cultural diversity and overall athletics excellence and this commitment shall reflect in every aspect of the athletics departmental operations.
Statement of Responsibility for Balance
Between Academic and Athletics Responsibilities
Student-athletes are primarily responsible for balancing academics and athletics. However, recognizing the pressure that student-athletes face from competing time demands placed upon them by both professors and coaches, we establish the following statement of responsibility. The statement assumes that the student's primary responsibility is to academic coursework and that practice sessions are always subordinate to class attendance.
Students should work with advisors to schedule courses so that practices and contests are not in conflict with academic courses.
Student-athletes are expected to contact professors in advance in order to resolve conflicts between class attendance and participation in athletic contests. It is recommended that student-athletes miss not more than four sessions of any class in a semester for regular season athletic contests. Permission of a Faculty Athletic Representative is required before additional excused absences will be permitted.
Coaches will, as necessary, establish and maintain communications with the professors of team athletes regarding academic progress. Professors should feel free to contact coaches regarding the academic responsibilities of student-athletes.
Professors, coaches, athletic administrators and student-athletes should feel free to bring concerns about athletic participation and academic responsibilities to the attention of the Faculty Athletic Representatives. The Faculty Athletic Representatives may serve as mediators involving the Committee on Athletic Policy and Recreation, as necessary.
Faculty Athletic Representatives
The Department of Athletics, overseen by Director of Athletics Garnett Purnell and more generally by the Office of the Provost, is strengthened by a healthy relationship with the university's faculty. A high level of cooperation and support is made possible by the department's academic liaisons, the Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR). The FARs also represent the academic interests of our student-athletes within the North Coast Athletic Conference and as delegates to the NCAA.
Associate professor Wendy Gradwohl is currently the chair of the Department of Business and serves as the women's FAR. In addition to her work on campus, Gradwohl also serves as the chair of the North Coast Athletic Conference Women's Faculty Athletic Representatives, and maintains a strong interest in running.
Jeff Ankrom, the men's FAR is an economics professor and recently added associate provost for faculty affairs and institutional research to his responsibilities. Ankrom has officiated high school basketball since 1985.