The review, conducted by four individuals, was done to reflect upon and evaluate the direction and performance of the Athletics department over the past decade and provide recommendations that foster progress towards the vision of creating a sustainable organization consistently characterized by excellence academically, competitively, and in the community.
The 21 page document highlights several areas:
-There is a lack of a clear strategy and vision and this has caused frustration among coaches and staff. Due in part to leadership issues, there is poor alignment between the athletic department, senior leadership and important internal university partners.
-The current departmental structure is not fit for purpose or able to keep up with the demands of supporting 16 programs in an effective or sustainable manner. This calls for the possibility of some programs being eliminated to more effectively use resources to support competitive excellence and fund a structure that is able to support coaches, staff and student athletes for many years to come
- Members of the University community, even if they are not inherently supportive of the varsity sport agenda, are committed to working with Cougar athletics in order to create a more competitive program
- The student population has an apathetic attitude towards Cougar athletics.
- Hiring an athletic director which is something the University has not had since the retirement of Dick White
- Developing a new scholarship strategy
- Articulate a mission and an objective for Cougar Athletics with a re-brand of Cougar Athletics occurring after that mission and objective is identified and created
The review states at present, there is no strategic plan for the athletic program and the majority of
people who participated in interviews commented on the lack of vision. This is an area of significant concern that must be addressed before progress can be made.
It closes by saying the University of Regina has an unprecedented opportunity to take steps to set the
stage for success, both on the field of play and off, for years to come. This will require a definitive mission and vision, a “fit for purpose” department structure and the appropriate number of sponsored programs/teams, as well as a commitment to regularly track the progress of the new plan and its alignment to strategic objectives.
The good news is that there is a desire to make changes and support this important program. This extends from the athletes to the President’s Office and the motivation is clear as well as ambitious.
The time is now to take action in order for Cougar Athletics to become an even stronger point of pride for the University of Regina and the city of Regina.