In 2012 we initiated an effort to create an academic unit within the athletics department at the University of Colorado Boulder. Four years later we announced the establishment of the Sports Governance Center. Since then, we have achieved a number of notable successes.
Regrettably, leadership at CU Boulder has decided not to take this innovative program forward. Starting fall, 2019 the activities of the Sports Governance Center will cease.
Among our achievements:
- Establishment of an academic unit within a Division 1 athletics department focused on teaching, research and outreach;
- Received faculty approval for a new professional master’s degree and online certificate program in sports governance;
- Implementation of a popular undergraduate course in sports governance (in partnership with Ethnic Studies) that grew from just 12 students in 2014 to 160 students in 2019;
- Development and submission of a proposal for an undergraduate certificate in sports governance;
- Publication of a book (The Edge), numerous peer-reviewed research papers and many commentaries on issues of sports governance in the New York Times, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek and beyond;
- Hosting of visitors from across the sports governance landscape for discussions with students, staff and the community – including Hope Solo, Lance Armstrong, Solomon Wilcots, Jim Trotter, Vitaly and Yulia Stepanov, Travis Tygart, Jens Sejer Anderson, Victoria Jackson, Oliver Luck, Walter Palmer and more;
- Contributed to bringing a major sports governance organization — Play the Game — to Colorado for its 2019 conference.
Next fall, I will join the CU Boulder environmental studies program, which means that I will be again emphasizing research and teaching on science and environmental policy. But I also fully hope to continue my work in sports governance and will be looking to secure an institutional arrangement that allows that to happen.
I’d like to thank all of those people who helped to make our effort to develop a sports governance center a success – students, faculty, staff, administrators, funders and external collaborators. It was a group effort. I am proud that we demonstrated that it was not only possible to create an academic unit within an athletics department, but to implement one that achieved excellence in teaching, research and outreach.