Trustees hear strategic update on Intercollegiate Athletics operations

February 24, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A review of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) vision and achievements and how they align with ICA’s recently completed strategic plan were presented today (Feb. 24) by Sandy Barbour, director of Athletics, to the University Board of Trustees.

Intercollegiate Athletics supports approximately 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity sports (16 men’s and 15 women’s). Penn State’s 31 programs rank among the five highest totals among all 128 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.

“Proud Past, Bright Future,” is the theme for ICA’s Strategic Plan from 2017-22 and Barbour said leadership directives and strategic goals are aligned to ICA’s vision of preparing students for a lifetime of impact. Barbour said that Intercollege Athletics’ mission, leadership directives and strategic goals also are incorporated and linked throughout ICA’s Facilities Master Plan, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are in the business of creating conditions for success so that we can prepare our students for a lifetime of impact,” Barbour told the board. “We are pursuing comprehensive excellence to create a unique Penn State story. Our student-athletes do more in the community than anywhere else I’ve been. Just last week, our students and spirit squads raised almost $100,000 for THON. We have an awful lot to be proud of, but, as good as we are, we know we can be better.”

Barbour outlined Intercollegiate Athletics’ primary leadership directives within the strategic plan:

  • Set the standard for comprehensive excellence;
  • Be a national leader in the landscape of intercollegiate athletics;
  • Be a strategic partner in delivering the higher education mission at Penn State;
  • Engage our community in meaningful ways.

Five strategic goals provide ICA with the road map for creating conditions for student success in academics, athletics, community engagement and social interaction:

  • Comprehensive Excellence
  • We Are (be Penn State)
  • Key Partnerships and Relationships
  • Culture
  • Financial Model

Barbour also discussed how ICA staff and students deliver the mission of Penn State and Athletics by living the University’s values, as well as ICA’s core values: tradition, teamwork, diversity, transparency and innovation.

Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent, five points higher than the Division I average. A school record 299 Nittany Lions earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last year for owning a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and being a letterwinner. Penn State’s 195 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time rank No. 5 among all NCAA institutions, with two honorees last fall.

Since the 2012 fall semester, Penn State has won seven NCAA championships, the most among all Big Ten Conference institutions, and 28 Big Ten championships, the conference’s second-highest total. Penn State’s four Big Ten titles thus far in 2016-17 in field hockey, football, women’s soccer and wrestling lead all conference schools.

During the 2015-16 academic year, Penn State student-athletes performed a record total of more than 8,000 community service hours and helped raise financial contributions for numerous charitable organizations and events, including THON, Coaches vs. Cancer, PA Pink Zone and Uplifting Athletes.

Last Updated February 24, 2017