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bethlehempard

A different kind of study: this one about getting better

http://m.goleopards.com/m/genrel/110116aad.html



EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette announced that it will be engaging a consulting firm to conduct a review of the athletic program and make recommendations on improving the College's competitiveness in the Patriot League.

"We will conduct a thorough review of our intercollegiate athletics program and develop precise recommendations for a shared strategic direction that ensures the athletic program's resources are aligned with the mission and goals of the institution," said Bruce McCutcheon, director of athletics.

A committee made up of staff, faculty, and trustees is being formed to work with the consultant. The project, which will begin this month and conclude next April, will include interviews with athletics personnel, College administrators, faculty, students, trustees, and other internal and external constituents. It will benchmark the scope, costs, and outcomes of Lafayette's athletic program with programs at other Patriot League and Division I FCS private institutions.

The committee will make recommendations to the President of the College, Alison Byerly. "I look forward to hearing the committee's recommendations about how we can best use our resources and commitment to develop outstanding student-athletes, and to be successful competitors in the Patriot League," said Byerly.

Lafayette, a charter member of the Patriot League, fields teams in 23 sports in NCAA Division I athletics. Some 540 students, about 22 percent of Lafayette's student body, participate in varsity athletics each year.
Lafalum

Re: A different kind of study: this one about getting better

bethlehempard wrote:
http://m.goleopards.com/m/genrel/110116aad.html



EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette announced that it will be engaging a consulting firm to conduct a review of the athletic program and make recommendations on improving the College's competitiveness in the Patriot League.

"We will conduct a thorough review of our intercollegiate athletics program and develop precise recommendations for a shared strategic direction that ensures the athletic program's resources are aligned with the mission and goals of the institution," said Bruce McCutcheon, director of athletics.

A committee made up of staff, faculty, and trustees is being formed to work with the consultant. The project, which will begin this month and conclude next April, will include interviews with athletics personnel, College administrators, faculty, students, trustees, and other internal and external constituents. It will benchmark the scope, costs, and outcomes of Lafayette's athletic program with programs at other Patriot League and Division I FCS private institutions.

The committee will make recommendations to the President of the College, Alison Byerly. "I look forward to hearing the committee's recommendations about how we can best use our resources and commitment to develop outstanding student-athletes, and to be successful competitors in the Patriot League," said Byerly.

Lafayette, a charter member of the Patriot League, fields teams in 23 sports in NCAA Division I athletics. Some 540 students, about 22 percent of Lafayette's student body, participate in varsity athletics each year.


I await this most anticipated "study."
bethlehempard

http://m.goleopards.com/m/genrel/110116aad.html

The Express has a positive view of it.
President Byerly is acting. That's her job and she's doing it. As long as the focus is Patriot League competiveness this is on target.
Lost Again

Hell has frozen over
seenalot

I am cautiously optimistic - but am concerned about academia studying athletics with an unbiased eye.  Let's see make up of committee - any background on consultant ?
Lafalum

seenalot wrote:
I am cautiously optimistic - but am concerned about academia studying athletics with an unbiased eye.  Let's see make up of committee - any background on consultant ?


The make up of this committee is key. I would like to see some alums ( other than BOT members ) on this committee. That would give me great comfort.
BPard

Lafalum wrote:
The make up of this committee is key.
Agree.

It is worth noting that committees is how President Byerly has built consensus support with faculty/staff to bring change to the College. See her Presidential Task Forces, which led to growing the size of the College and a new vision for Residential Life that includes Greek Life.
BillS

Lafalum wrote:
seenalot wrote:
I am cautiously optimistic - but am concerned about academia studying athletics with an unbiased eye.  Let's see make up of committee - any background on consultant ?


The make up of this committee is key. I would like to see some alums ( other than BOT members ) on this committee. That would give me great comfort.
It's about time!!! I'm guessing the repeated emails to her has worked!
LeopardBall10

This is great news. Not only is Byerly acting by creating this committee and hiring the consultant but according to the article she will be the one receiving and reviewing the recommendations. Bruce may not report directly to the President, but I appreciate the presidential step-in.

I think it is also important to note that the announced goal of the committee is to improve competitiveness in the league. I agree that the make up of the committee is important, but I think it is more important that the stated goal is competitiveness, which can be quantitatively measured through either wins or margin of victory/defeat and not the blanket term success which can be mutated into graduation rates, academic acumen, etc.

Any shot the college releases the findings of the study?
BPard

LeopardBall10 wrote:
Any shot the college releases the findings of the study?
If the past is prologue, yes. The College released the results of three initiatives she launched in a similar fashion.

https://president.lafayette.edu/presidential-task-force-reports/
leopard88

Very Happy
LeopardBall10

BPard wrote:
]If the past is prologue, yes. The College released the results of three initiatives she launched in a similar fashion.

https://president.lafayette.edu/presidential-task-force-reports/


The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. I'll take it. Wins and comparable success are easy to track, etc. How the committee views overall culture will dictate a large portion of the results.
ed65

My recommendation to the consulting firm is that they interview many alums on this board AND pay as little attention to the Board of Trustees as possible (depending, of course, which Board Members are on the task force).
Pard4Life

November Fool's Day joke?  It is November 1...

I'll believe it when I see it... not holding my breath... LC is good at many things: administration is not one of them.
Kpard

if you are forming a task force and bringing in an outside consultant to tell you why a department isn't performing well, doesn't that pretty much answer the question?
SixtyEighter

Another tank job aimed at " finding" we belong in DIII ?
WVPard

68er - You've expressed my fears exactly.  Folks, we don't need a blue ribbon panel to study why we aren't competitive.  We simply need the top of the administration to say, "Enough.  We are committed to winning.", then follow through by holding each team accountable, replacing those that need replaced, and/or funding those that need funded.  

I hope President Byerly isn't using this for cover, but it sure smells like it.  Unfortunately history shows, the more faculty and administration involved (and consequently, fewer alumni) the worse it is for athletics.  I would love to give her the benefit of the doubt, but her predecessors have poisoned the well.
Andy

WVPard wrote:
68er - You've expressed my fears exactly.  Folks, we don't need a blue ribbon panel to study why we aren't competitive.  We simply need the top of the administration to say, "Enough.  We are committed to winning.", then follow through by holding each team accountable, replacing those that need replaced, and/or funding those that need funded.  

I hope President Byerly isn't using this for cover, but it sure smells like it.  Unfortunately history shows, the more faculty and administration involved (and consequently, fewer alumni) the worse it is for athletics.  I would love to give her the benefit of the doubt, but her predecessors have poisoned the well.


Wow. It says "how...to be more competitive in the Patriot League." You guys are stretching it a bit on the negative side.

Overall though regarding the study, isnt this what you pay an AD to do?
leopard88

Andy wrote:


Wow. It says "how...to be more competitive in the Patriot League." You guys are stretching it a bit on the negative side.



Seconded.  Let's see what actually happens before jumping to conclusions.
WVPard

88 - Would Ellis and Kolleval need to put together a blue ribbon panel to study something as simple as this?  

I highly doubt it.  Not that they were the end-all and be-all, but my recollection was that across the board, as a school, we were more competitive than we are now.

I am truly hoping for the best...
leopard88

They were operating in a different era/environment and had different styles, from what I recall.

Beyond that, this approach seems to be part of President Byerly's style.  So far, I think she is doing a good job.  Therefore, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt if she believes this is the best way to make things happen and get buy-in from all constituencies.
Lafalum

Again, I would have more comfort with 3 or 4 outside alumni on this panel. I hope that happens. Until then, I will wait for the announcement of who is on the committee. I would expect the major outside donors to hold their water unless there is an independent alumnus on the committee. Would you be writing checks??

Byerly has given me no reason to distrust her. She has my support.
ed65

I agree with lafalum.  Byerly has not given us reasons to distrust her.  But the addition of outside alums (non Board Members) is critical if this is going to be a balanced approach to becoming more competitive in the PL. I also think Byerly needs to add the proviso that moving to DIII is not an alternative - frankly, I don't think it is but having going through to nonsense with Rothkop 15 years ago, I always worry about it.
LeopardBall10

I really don't understand those of you who are bashing the hiring of this consultant. On this board almost all of us would agree that we don't trust Bruce to make any decisions at all let along right the ship.

Byerly is doing exactly what we all wanted her to do, address the issue. She either does not feel she understands the day to day issues well enough or is using the consultant and committee as campus forums for change. But either way she is gaining more understanding of the issue from an outside source who will direct her decision making to fix the issue.

Until the report comes out and she chooses not to act further we can't gripe about this.
Lafalum

LeopardBall10 wrote:
I really don't understand those of you who are bashing the hiring of this consultant. On this board almost all of us would agree that we don't trust Bruce to make any decisions at all let along right the ship.

Byerly is doing exactly what we all wanted her to do, address the issue. She either does not feel she understands the day to day issues well enough or is using the consultant and committee as campus forums for change. But either way she is gaining more understanding of the issue from an outside source who will direct her decision making to fix the issue.

Until the report comes out and she chooses not to act further we can't gripe about this.


Agreed, a consultant is an admission in some form!
WVPard

Well...you all might have convinced me.  But there are many scars from previous burns on my hide.  Hence my skepticism.

One thing for sure about a consultation - the consultant always wins, no matter what.

I guess we can only hope that after this most recent re-evaluation, the powers that be have the intestinal fortitude to make the changes required to bring back athletics to competitiveness.

Fingers crossed, knock on wood...
LeopardBall10

WVPard wrote:
I guess we can only hope that after this most recent re-evaluation, the powers that be have the intestinal fortitude to make the changes required to bring back athletics to competitiveness.


Agreed. If the report comes back and Byerly and the BOT decides to ignore it, then that is a different issue.
ed65

WVPard wrote:
Well...you all might have convinced me.  But there are many scars from previous burns on my hide.  Hence my skepticism.

One thing for sure about a consultation - the consultant always wins, no matter what.

I guess we can only hope that after this most recent re-evaluation, the powers that be have the intestinal fortitude to make the changes required to bring back athletics to competitiveness.

Fingers crossed, knock on wood...


I completely disagree with you that "the consultant always wins, no matter what."  I have been in the consulting industry for 25 years and there have been many situations where our consulting firm did not "win."  The reality is that consultants wear out their welcome and new consultants or internal consultants are brought in to provide advice.  Besides, what we are talking about here is a firm that specializes in intercollegiate athletics, and presumably knows what they are doing.  Their mission is how to make LC more competitive in the PL - that is a goal that everyone on this board supports and if you don't, you should not be on the board.
Lafalum

Live Webcast on Nov 13 at 7pm with President Byerly

For all of you that have questions President Byerly will have a live Webcast with Lisa Kassels( alumni president) and Gary Laubach on monday November 14 at 7pm. Send in your questions.
WVPard

Ed65 - If you've read any of my previous posts, you would realize that I still fully support the school, despite the many disappointments we've all endured over the years, from the current state of athletics to the destruction of Greek Life.  I continue to regularly contribute.  

Sorry that I hit a nerve regarding your profession, but don't question my loyalty or support to the school.  I was one of many that personally answered Coach Russo's call when the program was threatened to be scrapped, by reaching out to the administration.  I'm not looking for a pat on the back, but don't deserve to have my loyalty to the school, and now mostly to football, questioned.
Spardicus80

I think the formation of this committee and the hiring of an outside consultant is a positive first step, although I too, like many others on this board, am puzzled by the exclusion of an alumni presence on this committee.

Almost one quarter of the student body participates in a varsity sport during their tenure at Lafayette.  Most of the attention is focused on the two revenue generating sports - football and basketball.  But what is not often seen is how much the minor sports have struggled to compete on a yearly basis.  Most have not had a winning record for years much less competed for a Patriot League championship.  And, frankly, we don't need a committee to tell us why.  It is simply a pervasive attitude on campus  that it is a nice surprise when we occasionally win, but that losing has become the accepted norm.  Losing begets more losing.  It is an attitude that has permeated and percolated down to the athletes themselves.  If no one else cares, then why should they? The school prides itself on maintaining excellence on so many other endeavors.  Why not athletics?  I would hope that the committee strives to answer this question.
ed65

WVPard wrote:
Ed65 - If you've read any of my previous posts, you would realize that I still fully support the school, despite the many disappointments we've all endured over the years, from the current state of athletics to the destruction of Greek Life.  I continue to regularly contribute.  

Sorry that I hit a nerve regarding your profession, but don't question my loyalty or support to the school.  I was one of many that personally answered Coach Russo's call when the program was threatened to be scrapped, by reaching out to the administration.  I'm not looking for a pat on the back, but don't deserve to have my loyalty to the school, and now mostly to football, questioned.


Bravo WVPard: I apologize if my post questioned your loyalty.  I meant to comment only on your mis-characterization of the consulting industry.  If you have walked in my shoes and have had board members and senior officers blame us consultants for their problems, you would understand my comments.

As for your loyalty to the college, I applaud you and hope you continue to contribute.  I'm really glad you are on the Board and look forward to reading your posts.
ed65

Spardicus80 wrote:
I think the formation of this committee and the hiring of an outside consultant is a positive first step, although I too, like many others on this board, am puzzled by the exclusion of an alumni presence on this committee.

Almost one quarter of the student body participates in a varsity sport during their tenure at Lafayette.  Most of the attention is focused on the two revenue generating sports - football and basketball.  But what is not often seen is how much the minor sports have struggled to compete on a yearly basis.  Most have not had a winning record for years much less competed for a Patriot League championship.  And, frankly, we don't need a committee to tell us why.  It is simply a pervasive attitude on campus  that it is a nice surprise when we occasionally win, but that losing has become the accepted norm.  Losing begets more losing.  It is an attitude that has permeated and percolated down to the athletes themselves.  If no one else cares, then why should they? The school prides itself on maintaining excellence on so many other endeavors.  Why not athletics?  I would hope that the committee strives to answer this question.


Well done Spartacus.  I agree completely with everything you said.
BPard

ed65 wrote:
board members and senior officers blame us consultants for their problems
This is the other reason consultants gets hired!
seenalot

Having spent 20 years in consulting there are lots of reasons to hire consultants - good and bad.  

Sometimes we were hired to be a scapegoat and tease out a hidden agenda, sometimes to deliver a message that is politically difficult to say to a colleague or group, and sometimes for expertise that didn't exist inside an organization.  Every consultant I know and I am sure ed65 knows, understands that is the drill.  And most know when starting an engagement which or which combo of roles they face.  In many/most instances there is very little in the way of "ahha moments" or revelations in what consultants tell clients.  Most times those deeply imbedded inside organizations have been saying the same thing to "management" for years - sound familiar??   What sometimes differs is a consultants ability to define a step by step  course of actions to fix the problems.       

We don't have a window into the real reasons they were hired in this case, which is likely what frustrates all of us - I know it does me.  Seeing who they hire and knowing what similar projects they have done will answer some, seeing who else is in the committee will tell us more.   Knowing how hamstrung a consultant might be in terms of speaking the truth we will never know.   Sadly we just have to sit back, trust (or not) and see what happens.
ed65

seenalot wrote:
Having spent 20 years in consulting there are lots of reasons to hire consultants - good and bad.  

Sometimes we were hired to be a scapegoat and tease out a hidden agenda, sometimes to deliver a message that is politically difficult to say to a colleague or group, and sometimes for expertise that didn't exist inside an organization.  Every consultant I know and I am sure ed65 knows, understands that is the drill.  And most know when starting an engagement which or which combo of roles they face.  In many/most instances there is very little in the way of "ahha moments" or revelations in what consultants tell clients.  Most times those deeply imbedded inside organizations have been saying the same thing to "management" for years - sound familiar??   What sometimes differs is a consultants ability to define a step by step  course of actions to fix the problems.       

We don't have a window into the real reasons they were hired in this case, which is likely what frustrates all of us - I know it does me.  Seeing who they hire and knowing what similar projects they have done will answer some, seeing who else is in the committee will tell us more.   Knowing how hamstrung a consultant might be in terms of speaking the truth we will never know.   Sadly we just have to sit back, trust (or not) and see what happens.


Solid reasoning by "seenalot."  However, if the committee is made up of anti-athletic types, I will be the first to howl about it - directly to the President.  If the mandate is literally what it says it is, there will be solid recommendations for improvement.  If it is a whitewash, then lafalum will be right  - Moravian will become the rival and virtually all interest in LC Athletics will cease to exist, and the beautiful facilities will be sadly empty.
Lafalum

ed65 wrote:
seenalot wrote:
Having spent 20 years in consulting there are lots of reasons to hire consultants - good and bad.  

Sometimes we were hired to be a scapegoat and tease out a hidden agenda, sometimes to deliver a message that is politically difficult to say to a colleague or group, and sometimes for expertise that didn't exist inside an organization.  Every consultant I know and I am sure ed65 knows, understands that is the drill.  And most know when starting an engagement which or which combo of roles they face.  In many/most instances there is very little in the way of "ahha moments" or revelations in what consultants tell clients.  Most times those deeply imbedded inside organizations have been saying the same thing to "management" for years - sound familiar??   What sometimes differs is a consultants ability to define a step by step  course of actions to fix the problems.       

We don't have a window into the real reasons they were hired in this case, which is likely what frustrates all of us - I know it does me.  Seeing who they hire and knowing what similar projects they have done will answer some, seeing who else is in the committee will tell us more.   Knowing how hamstrung a consultant might be in terms of speaking the truth we will never know.   Sadly we just have to sit back, trust (or not) and see what happens.


Solid reasoning by "seenalot."  However, if the committee is made up of anti-athletic types, I will be the first to howl about it - directly to the President.  If the mandate is literally what it says it is, there will be solid recommendations for improvement.  If it is a whitewash, then lafalum will be right  - Moravian will become the rival and virtually all interest in LC Athletics will cease to exist, and the beautiful facilities will be sadly empty.


I understand several high profile alums ( non-bot) who are well known supporters of athletics have asked Byerly to be included on the committee. We'll see!!
LeopardBall10

Isn't it media luncheon time? How about a few questions to get Frank's take on the announcement. Extra cookies for anyone who can get him to say how he really feels and not just some canned answer.

------------

Better yet, how about the opinions of the players. I would be very interested to know what they think about the study. Maybe we should be lobbying the President to have at least 2 current athletes on the committee?
endangered leopard

Winning Must Not be Everything unless it is an Election!

It seems the only thing the administration and faculty are concerned about winning is the presidential election. If only the athletic department could get this worked up and passionate about a loss, perhaps something would change. Take a look at this letter from the faculty to our student body in the wake of Trump's victory:

https://www.lafayettestudentnews....er-from-the-faculty-to-lafayette/

It seems to me that the only group of students feeling repressed on campus are the handful of conservatives. Word has it that most of them are also student-athletes!

How deplorable!!!
Kpard

Re: Winning Must Not be Everything unless it is an Election!

endangered leopard wrote:
It seems the only thing the administration and faculty are concerned about winning is the presidential election. If only the athletic department could get this worked up and passionate about a loss, perhaps something would change. Take a look at this letter from the faculty to our student body in the wake of Trump's victory:

https://www.lafayettestudentnews....er-from-the-faculty-to-lafayette/

It seems to me that the only group of students feeling repressed on campus are the handful of conservatives. Word has it that most of them are also student-athletes!

How deplorable!!!


News flash for all these overreacting social justice warriors (oh, sorry, if that's a micro aggression...on second thought, no I'm not sorry), the president elect is focused on national defense and the economy. He will not be bogging himself down in the social engineering agenda that these folks and the present administration are so fixated on.
It is so amazing how the tolerant can be so intolerant.
Jpao92

A study aimed at making us competitive chaired by someone who has made us less so.  Populated by some who have a vested interest in defending their performances which lead to the status quo.   No, I am NOT sanguine about the results unless the trustee members named dominate this committee.

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