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Character Forged Through Competition


INTRODUCTION Fellow Eagles“The American Way: Soaring to New Heights” is a comprehensive plan outlining the direction of the American University Department of Athletics and Recreation and defining the framework within which we will operate for years to come. It will ensure all our actions are aligned with our mission and vision, and grounded solidly on our core values of Integrity, Respect, Accountability and Excellence.

This strategic plan recognizes and takes advantage of the unique assets and attributes we possess by being an NCAA Division I athletics department at a world-class academic institution in our Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C. It is aligned with the American University Strategic Plan “Leadership for a Changing World,” reinforcing the fact that the Department of Athletics and Recreation is an integral member of the American University campus community. We believe strongly that athletics and recreation are critical pieces to a comprehensive education and why our Department philosophy of “Character Forged Through Competition” is so appropriate.

Developing this plan was a yearlong process of observation, analysis, assessment and feedback, and included partners from all across campus. I want to thank each of those who participated in the process and volunteered countless hours to ensure this plan represented who we are as a department and university. Your comments, suggestions, inputs and guidance were critical to ensuring we chartered the proper course as we embark on our journey for a better future. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!

William P. Walker Director of Athletics and Recreation

Integrity, Respect, Excellence, Accountability

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Character Forged Through Competition


CONTENTS Mission & Vision Statements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Fiscal Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Core Values. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Compliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Academic Achievement & Student-Athlete Development . . . . 6

External Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Athletic Achievement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Recreation & Fitness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

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Mission Statement

Our Vision

The Mission of the American University Department of Athletics and Recreation is to complement the university’s educational mission through competitive NCAA Division I athletics, robust recreational sports and comprehensive fitness programs. Guided by our core values, we execute these programs with great enthusiasm while refusing to compromise our academic standards. By providing a first-class studentathlete experience, we promote institutional pride on campus and within our alumni around the world, and serve as AU ambassadors to the public, both nationally and internationally.

The American University Athletics Department will be recognized nationally as a department that forges student-athletes of character, prepared for a lifetime of leadership and service in Washington, D.C., the nation and the world.


Core Values The American University Department of Athletics and Recreation is an integral part of American University and plays a critical role in the overall education and development of our students. Participation in intercollegiate athletics and recreation complements a student’s educational experience—it doesn’t overwhelm it.

To ensure the Athletic Department fulfills its philosophy of forging character through competition, each member must embrace and adhere to a timeless set of Core Values that form the foundation of what we do each day. These Core Values are our touchstone, the very essence of who we are, and they define us as a department of Integrity, Respect, Accountability and Excellence.

INTEGRITY

RESPECT

ACCOUNTABILITY

EXCELLENCE

Integrity is non-negotiable, it defines everything we do. Without Integrity, all accomplishments are hollow. No growth can take place, nor character be built without Integrity. Simply stated... Integrity is a pass/fail item.

Respect is essential across a wide spectrum. We must Respect diversity, as athletics is the perfect venue for people who may be far different from one another to respectfully come together on the “fields of friendly strife.” We must Respect one another in the department as co-workers and equally valued members of the Eagles Family. We must Respect our studentathletes - after all, their development is the reason for our existence. We must Respect our opponents. Like us, they deserve the Respect afforded the display of courage and commitment shown by stepping into the arena. Lastly, we must Respect the game itself. It doesn’t matter the sport, no student-athlete, coach or administrator is above that sport.

Accountability must be enforced at all levels. We will always be Accountable for our actions, both personally and professionally. Our student-athletes, coaches and administrators will be Accountable to American University, Patriot League, EIWA and NCAA directives and guidance. We represent American University, AU Athletics, our respective teams, ourselves and our families at all times. We will hold each other Accountable, and not let each other down.

Excellence will be our standard in all our endeavors. We will strive for Arete, the transcendent Excellence in athletics espoused by the Ancient Greeks. We will settle for nothing short of Excellence in the competitive arena, the classroom, and the community. We will win championships while staying true to each of our Core Values.

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ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT & STUDENT-ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT 6

Character Forged Through Competition


GOALS

GOAL

• Achieve a 3.3 overall department GPA annually • Have four teams achieve the NCAA APR Public Recognition Award annually • Earn at least 97 percent in the Graduation Success Rate metric • Achieve top team recognition by each coaches association that ranks academic achievement • Win at least two Patriot League ScholarAthlete of the Year awards annually

Develop well-rounded students who excel off the field of competition, exemplifying AU’s mission to prepare our students to lead and serve in the city, the nation and the world

Core Values: Integrity & Excellence

Tactic Provide guidance and support to the educational mission of the student-athlete

Initiatives • •

Continue advanced partnership with University Academic Support and Access Center Work with Admissions to identify, recruit and retain student-athletes who embody the scholar-athlete model Serve as an effective pipeline to the Faculty and University Registrar’s Office, and continue to act as liaisons with various university offices relevant to the success of the student-athlete

Core Values: Respect & Accountability

Tactic

Tactic

Provide comprehensive life skills programming focusing on personal, professional and skill-enhancing development programs

Focus on developing and embracing an equitable and diverse environment and culture

Initiatives

• •

Provide and support leadership-development programs Continue to provide the TALONS (Thinking and Learning Opportunities for New Student-Athletes) program to assist first-year students transition to American University Encourage active participation in the StudentAthlete Advisory Committee and foster two-way communications between athletics staff and its members Develop community service opportunities for student-athletes to enhance individual and team experiences, while contributing to the Washington, D.C., community Provide career development information to assist student-athletes’ transition to post-collegiate life

Initiatives

• • •

Ensure coaches have the opportunity to enhance the diversity of the student-athlete population - an essential component of the educational experience on campus and a hallmark of the AU community Encourage coaches to develop an internal team culture that promotes inclusion and diversity Encourage student-athlete engagement and access to all campus resources Ensure our student-athletes are embracing cultural opportunities available on campus

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ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT 8

Character Forged Through Competition


GOALS • Win at least three conference championships each year • Compete as teams or individuals in at least four NCAA postseason events annually • Achieve league, regional and national recognition and major awards Core Value: Excellence & Accountability

Tactic

Tactic

Attract, develop and retain student-athletes, coaches and administrative personnel who will enable AU to compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics

Maximize available resources to support our teams’ opportunities to achieve their full potential

Initiatives

• • • •

Provide resources to identify and recruit studentathletes who will achieve success at AU Continue to increase athletic scholarships to more fully fund our intercollegiate programs Identify and track a diverse pool of talented and qualified coaches and staff members Make high-quality hiring decisions within the context of the mission, vision and core values of the athletics department Provide opportunities and support for professional development and growth, particularly for staff in the early stages of their careers

Initiatives

Develop and resource the best comprehensive sports medicine program that supports studentathlete health and well-being Provide high-quality strength and conditioning programs to improve all aspects of their physical performance Work with campus nutrition partners to give student-athletes information and support to make healthy decisions Encourage competition on international levels to give our student-athletes improved opportunity for new athletic and cultural experiences Consistently communicate the importance of a culture of service to department personnel and student-athletes

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GOAL

GOAL

Annually balance the department budget

Provide state-of-the-art facilities

Core Value: Accountability

Core Value: Excellence

Tactic

Tactic

Responsible management of fiscal resources to meet department goals

Initiatives • Ensure the Athletics Director and Senior Associate A.D. for Business continually monitor the athletics budget throughout the fiscal year • Effectively advocate department objectives during the university budget process • Educate coaches and staff about department and university policies to ensure fiscal responsibility within units • Annually review AU’s total athletic budget to ensure proper funding in comparison to other Patriot League institutions • Work with existing vendors to secure beneficial partnerships that generate revenue and reduce service costs

Develop a facility master plan and funding model in conjunction with the university’s master plan goals and objectives

Initiatives • Continually monitor current facilities to track needs for repair/improvement • Manage and update a comprehensive deferred maintenance plan • Establish a vision and perform capital planning to allow us to construct new facilities that provide our student-athletes a competitive advantage

Tactic Increase revenue generation opportunities by diversifying and identifying new revenue sources

Initiatives • Generate revenue through sponsorships, ticket sales, licensing and external events • Promote facility rental opportunities

FISCAL MANAGEMENT Integrity, Respect, Excellence, Accountability

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Character Forged Through Competition


GOAL Follow all rules and regulations set forth by the NCAA, Patriot League, Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and American University Core Values: Integrity & Accountability

Tactic Enhance rules education and define best-practice policies and procedures for all coaches, staff, studentathletes, external constituents and the university community who have athletically related responsibilities

Initiatives • Develop systematic ways to educate coaches and staff on new interpretations, rules changes and best practices on NCAA compliance topics • Increase educational opportunities for all AU constituents • Develop communications tools to provide ongoing education efforts to various audiences • Annually update the department’s compliance manual

Tactic Ensure and enhance comprehensive monitoring of NCAA, conference and institutional rules, policies and procedures

Initiatives • Conduct internal reviews of all eligibility, compliance and financial aid processes • Employ new compliance technology for monitoring and data collection tasks • Review and enhance the Athletic Department Code of Conduct for all athletic department personnel and student-athletes

COMPLIANCE Integrity, Respect, Excellence, Accountability

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GOAL Meet and exceed targets for revenue production in the areas of marketing, corporate sponsorships and fundraising Core Values: Excellence & Accountability

Tactic Aggressively and efficiently target potential new donors and sponsors and provide outstanding stewardship of current donors and sponsors

Initiatives • Increase quantity of Eagles Club members, total donations and corporate sponsorships • Establish annual team-specific donation goals and strategies to maximize effectiveness and results • Aggressively market and increase ticket sales, with an emphasis on paid attendance • Increase use of new technologies to target and monitor donation and sponsorship prospects • Utilize best practices in intercollegiate athletics to adapt ideas and techniques to maximize resources

EXTERNAL OPERATIONS 14

Character Forged Through Competition


GOAL

GOAL

Consistently brand AU Athletics as a leader in providing athletic, academic and characterbuilding student-athlete experiences

Ensure AU Athletics is a focal point of campus life, a primary engagement point for the entire community and a source of university pride

Core Values: Respect & Accountability

Core Values: Excellence & Respect

Tactic Creatively use all resources to identify and tell compelling stories about AU Athletics

Initiatives • Identify compelling stories and pitch those to local, regional, national and sport-specific media • Strategically utilize website and internal social-media channels to communicate effectively • Track department-wide academic and athletic successes and communicate them aggressively • Use every opportunity to incorporate our philosophy of “Character Forged Through Competition” and our Core Values – Integrity, Respect, Accountability, Excellence – in our messaging

Tactic

Tactic

Identify and communicate effectively with all target audiences to promote and market our events

Provide superior game-day and special-event experiences for our guests

Initiatives

Initiatives

• Improve marketing to local and regional college athletics fans • Partner with AU’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations to create opportunities for increased involvement • Increase student attendance with continued focus and support of the Blue Crew, the official student fan group of AU Athletics • Generate on-campus opportunities to inform faculty, staff and students about athletic events and initiatives

• Program captivating in-game contests and promotions to encourage participation and attention of both students and fans • Improve and emphasize customer service for our guests, including ticket sales, security and concessions operations • Blend new initiatives with established campus traditions to improve the game-day environment • Improve programming and increase attendance at special events

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RECREATION & FITNESS 16

Character Forged Through Competition


GOAL

GOAL

Serve as the primary resource for fitness, recreation and wellness for the AU community

Provide recreation opportunities for the student population

Core Values: Excellence & Accountability

Core Values: Respect & Excellence

Tactic

Tactic

Provide a variety of high-quality programming in the form of wellness education, physical activity opportunities and special events

Maintain a robust club sport and intramurals program

Initiatives • • •

• •

Engage both first-time users and active participants in our fitness facilities, programs, events and services Maximize hours and availability of Jacobs and Cassell fitness centers Use best-practice solutions and training to provide efficient and positive operations to ensure quality customer service Maintain a safe environment through required training and supervision of all employees Develop and review risk management and emergency action plans

Initiatives • • • •

Maintain 24 active club sport programs Offer a wide variety of intramural activities to serve approximately 2,000 participants Provide leadership opportunities for students with club and intramural coaching and officiating programs Continually seek new sources of funding and support for club and intramural programs

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AU Athletics Strategic Plan  

A look ahead at the next five years in Athletics at American University.

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