March 3, 2011
ATHENS, Ohio-In June of 2008, the Ohio University Athletic Department announced an innovative and aggressive plan to upgrade the overall program entitled Bobcat Renaissance. The following is a progress report on this project.
"I am very pleased with our progress on this plan which began over two and a half years ago," said Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. "I believe accomplishing the program's tasks have elevated our overall athletic department in many ways. I am very thankful to those who participated in this effort. We do, however, still have work to do. Phase II of this effort will be to continue growth of our sports programs through the new campaign effort to generate increased revenue for our annual giving and strategic facility projects. We will need everyone's assistance to help make this dream a reality. Great things are ahead!"
The key elements of the plan include:
Plan Goal: Assemble a five-year strategic plan which outlines future priorities, goals, strategies and a timeline for the completion of all action items.
Update: The creation of the strategic plan, which involved campus and community input, was completed in January, 2009. Meeting strategic plan objectives have been extremely successful, completing 95% of all action items to date. Key projects that have been accomplished include:
· Reduced operating deficit to produce annual balanced budgets
· Implemented new successful annual giving and marketing programs which produced all-time revenue records and enhanced relationships with constituents throughout Ohio and the nation
· Nationally recognized for graduation rates and overall academic achievement
· Invested into program growth through sport programs facilities improvement
· Successfully completed 10-year NCAA Certification process, which included the creation of Gender Equity and Minority Issues plans
· Developed a structure and plan for a new $20 million capital campaign
· Increased national exposure to further build the brand of Ohio University
Long Term Financial Stability
Plan Goal: Ensure long term financial stability by cost reductions and new revenue strategies to balance the annual operating budget.
Update: Improvement areas include:
· For the first time in decades, the athletic department was able to submit a balanced annual operating budget for FY '11, which was accomplished, in part, by a reduction of $1.25 million in its base budget, which continues to rank among the smallest in the Mid-American Conference and NCAA Division 1A (FBS).
· Athletics has successfully made end of year budget projections for 2008-09, 2009-10 and to date for 2010-11
· Ranked 12th in a national survey by Texas A&M University for economic efficiency (measured investment versus athletic performance)
Support The Student-Athlete Mission
Plan Goal: Assist student-athletes in achieving excellence as a person, student and athlete
Update: Successes in this area include:
· National recognition for graduation rates, Academic Performance Rates scholastic awards and a department GPA of 3.1
· Widespread community service participation by student-athletes
· Noteworthy athletic team and individual achievements
· Ohio Athletics is only one of 17 Division 1A schools (120 total) who have never experienced a major NCAA violation
Plan Goal: Build relationships and improve communications with all constituents
Update: Successful new concepts include:
· Creation of a statewide volunteer network of 80 individuals (Bobcat Representative Program) to generate new donations and increase goodwill
· Developed a regional Bobcat Caravan program with the Ohio University Alumni Association to visit 12 cities annually with coaches and staff
· Increased student attendance and involvement to new levels based on the creation of Bobcat Student Park initiative with Student Senate, monthly student e-newsletter, Green Fever, Greek challenge and a other promotions
· Increased the overall communication to fans through a dynamic new website featuring the free Bobcat TV network, event web streaming and a weekly e-newsletter
· Established a new customer service program to better support fans' needs
Provide Value To University and Community
Plan Goal: Complete strategies to further promote the university and community
Update: Areas of improvement include:
· Significant amount of national exposure for sports teams through ESPN, CBS, USA Today and other media entities throughout the country have further built the brand of Ohio University which can impact such areas as: enrollment, alumni relations, fundraising, school pride and campus life
· According to research from a 2010 university study, intercollegiate athletics generates over $9 million annually to the local business from its events
Sports Program Development
Plan Goal: Adopt strategies to best align sports programs for future success
Update: Accomplishments include:
· Football: Two consecutive bowl appearances, 2009 MAC East Champs
Men's Basketball: 2010 MAC Championships, NCAA First Round win
Volleyball: 2008, 2009, 2010 MAC Champions. NCAA wins in 2009, 2010
Field Hockey: 2009 MAC Champions
Women's Swimming: 20111 MAC Champions
Wrestling: 2011 MAC Champions
· Increasing the number of home events for a variety of sports programs to increase revenue and team competitiveness
· Renovation of locker rooms for swimming and wrestling
Bobcat Renaissance Phase II
Plan Goals: Areas which need to be completed in the original plan in order to meet all key goals are in the category of Sports Program Development.
· Improve a variety of sports program facilities including: Multi-Purpose Center for campus wide use, Convocation Center, team locker rooms, athletic training room, academic center and softball stadium.
Strategy: In order to successfully complete Phase II goals, it will require increased annual fundraising through the Ohio Bobcat Club and generating additional revenue through a new, multi-year Capital Campaign effort.