Collegial Theory In College

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A problem shared by many colleges and universities across the nation is the battle between coaches wanting their most talented recruits to be accepted to the institution, and admission offices following rules set by the university or national governing boards for all applicants. This problem only grows when the ever-stressful conversation of scholarship and financial aid is brought into the mix. It is unethical for an admission office to lower standards for a specific population of students, no matter how badly the student wants to attend or how much a member or the university faculty or staff wants a student to enroll at the university. The Muskingum University Athletic Department continues to put pressure on the Admission and Financial …show more content…
Robert Birnbaum provides a definition of the collegial theory authored by Sanders (1973), which identifies collegiality as “marked by a sense of mutual respect for the opinions of others, by agreement about the canons of good scholarship, and by a willingness to be judged by one’s peers” (Birnbaum, 1988, p. 87). Birnbaum continues to provide characteristics of a collegial system that closely line up with the ideals found in the admission office at Muskingum University. For example, interaction between employees is informal, decisions are made by consensus, which doesn’t require unanimity, all members of the group are equal and everyone has an opportunity for their voice to be heard on all topics of discussion (Birnbaum, 1988, p. 88-89). The direct supervisor to the staff and vice president make it clear that each employee is valued, which creates a very strong sense of community amongst the staff. The collegiality present in the admission office can also be credited to the size of the staff. Including administrative and support staff there are sixteen total members of the enrollment staff. This makes it possible to have almost constant face-to-face contact, shared values, teamwork and communication between all working …show more content…
Collegiality is not present within their staff or the cross-campus relationship with the enrollment staff. It is my observation that unlike the enrollment staff, the athletic department does not have a leadership that views all individuals as equal. Because of the absence of collegiality, the two departments do not have a shared sense of community. They do have a shared goal and must work together, year in and year out, to recruit students to Muskingum. It is crucial for all pieces of the recruitment, admission and financial aid process to follow NCAA guidelines for the livelihood and persistence of all athletic teams. If regulations are violated, an investigation can occur and sanctions placed on the department. Mark Nagel, professor of sports and entertainment management at the University of South Carolina said, “some Division III teams are moving from the old approach of winning being secondary to it being the primary mission. Those schools have looked at athletics and said, ‘If we do a little more here and invest a little more there, we have a chance to win,’ and everyone likes to win (New, 2016). Every coach has pressure placed on him or her to reach recruitment goals, be a role model for their team, and win. As Nagel said, everyone likes to

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