It’s not a good sign when different departments at a school start suggesting cutting each other.

The Spokesman-Review reports:

Eastern Washington University faculty members propose cutting sports to pay for academics

A new report by faculty members at Eastern Washington University criticizes the athletic department as a drain on university resources and suggests NCAA sports aren’t worth the cost.

But EWU trustees and administrators have no plans to eliminate the athletic department or change its standing in the NCAA to free up money for academic programs, as the faculty report suggests. Some university leaders stepped up to defend the department over the weekend.

In an interview, EWU Athletic Director Lynn Hickey acknowledged her department spends more money than it raises and said she respects the concerns of faculty members. But, she said, “I don’t agree with how they’ve assessed our value.”

“Eastern’s not doing anything outrageous. We’re not doing anything extravagant,” Hickey said. “At the same time, we know that we need to be responsible, fiscally. But we’ve been proactive on that. We’re getting better.”

The report, prepared by four professors for EWU’s faculty senate, says spending on athletics has had “no positive impact on our student enrollment, retention or recruitment” and proposes eliminating the athletic department entirely, among other options.

By cutting NCAA sports, EWU “could become a national leader in resisting the ever-increasing costs of intercollegiate athletics, and become widely known for our commitment to academic excellence and controlling student cost burden,” the report says. “We would also have money available for a substantial investment in academics, community engagement, research support and student support.”


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