Ohio University Professor Thomas Vander Ven and Associate Professor Heather Lawrence-Benedict have been appointed as Faculty Athletic Representatives for Ohio University.
“Faculty Athletic Representatives help ensure the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletics program, facilitate institutional control of the program, and enhance the student-athlete experience at OHIO,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “I am confident that the background of these two professors will provide them with the necessary tools to serve as a critical link between faculty and the University’s athletics program and student-athletes.”
Representatives are appointed by the President and are charged with ensuring that all student-athletes meet eligibility requirements. They sign all official team eligibility rosters to certify that student-athletes conform to NCAA requirements and establish collaborative relationships with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to promote the general welfare of student-athletes.
The professors will represent Ohio University and its faculty in relationships with the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference.
Vander Ven is a professor of sociology and director of graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. He teaches courses on social problems, criminology, juvenile delinquency, and punishment and society, and has written on cyberbullying and online aggression, crime and coercion, and drinking among college students. He was named Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member in 2014.
Lawrence-Benedict is the associate dean of graduate programs and Robert H. Freeman Professor in the College of Business’s Department of Sports Administration. She teaches in the areas of event and facility management, diversity and sport, and supervises student consulting projects. Before her academic career, she worked in administrative positions in intercollegiate athletics at Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of Florida. Her work included NCAA compliance, facility management, and general administration.
Lawrence-Benedict will serve a six-year term and Vander Ven will serve a three-year term. Both began July 1.