Athletics program review finds strong, high-performing department

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Athletics program review finds strong, high-performing department

Nebraska Athletics is a high-performing department that meets its most important priority – helping student-athletes be successful in academics, athletics and life – an external review of the department found.

The review, conducted by the Omaha-based SilverStone Group, also confirmed that the athletics department is in a strong position, that Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst is well regarded, and that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves as a national model in supporting student-athletes.

“I was very pleased with the overall positive findings of the report,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “I appreciate the respectful culture within the department of athletics and I trust the direction of the department under Shawn’s capable leadership.”

The programmatic review was the first to be conducted during UNL’s first leadership transition in 16 years. A series of reviews assessing overall programs, culture and leadership across campus will be conducted to support Green’s transition. UNL has engaged a leading consultant to review its diversity and inclusion efforts, and Green has identified facilities and planning as another area for review.

The athletics report indicated that student-athletes expressed very positive experiences both with leaders of their sports and with athletic department leadership. It also noted that Nebraskans can be proud of the department’s successes and strong national reputation and that coaches and staff should be commended for their work in fulfilling the department’s mission.

“I truly believe Nebraska is the best place in the nation to be a student-athlete,” Green said. “As indicated in the study, Shawn has connected athletics more closely with the academic areas of the university and represents our university well in the Big Ten Conference.”

The report suggests better optimizing communications within and outside of the department. Eichorst said he is committed to strengthening communications so key constituents and staff feel more engaged, connected and empowered.

“I will use every day as an a opportunity to improve in areas identified in the review,” he said. “My goal, as it has always been, is to lead this great program with our mission, core values and the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the heart of every decision. And I will work to do this in a way that fully engages employees, fans and all Nebraskans in our work.”

Eichorst noted that as with any organization, there are also opportunities to get better, both for the department as a whole and for him as a leader – a process he welcomes.

“The Department of Athletics is achieving our mission at a high level and we’re doing it with integrity,” Eichorst said. “We are a model program that provides the best student-athlete experience in all of intercollegiate athletics, a conclusion supported by the program review.”

To read the report, click here.

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