||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Women's Ice Hockey
MAILED: July 30, 1999|
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has reached an agreement regarding an administrative complaint from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, about a request to add women's ice hockey as an intercollegiate sport.
The agreement resolves the OCR complaint that was initiated this spring by Dana Karpinske, a member of the women's club hockey team at UW-Eau Claire. Chancellor Donald Mash and Karpinske signed the resolution agreement this morning (July 30), thus ending the OCR investigation of UW-Eau Claire's Title IX compliance.
Karpinske filed the complaint after the university denied the recommendation of the Athletics Committee to add women's ice hockey as an intercollegiate sport for the 1999-2000 academic year. The denial was due to a lack of budget clarity for the next biennium currently under discussion by the state Legislature and the condition attached to the Athletics Committee's recommendation that no other varsity sport be eliminated to fund the women's ice hockey program.
To settle the complaint, UW-Eau Claire has agreed to add women's ice hockey as a varsity sport during the 2000-01 academic year and to provide assistance for transition during the 1999-2000 year. The manner in which the ice hockey program will be funded remains within the university's discretion.
Athletic Director Marilyn Skrivseth said the university will provide funding for the women's ice hockey program in the same manner and using the same formula established for the funding of all intercollegiate sports at UW-Eau Claire. At this time there are no plans to eliminate other varsity sports in order to pay for the new program.
"We are pleased to provide increased opportunities to students in athletics and proud of our record to enhance opportunities for women in sports over the last decade," Skrivseth said. Soccer was added to the women's module in 1989-90 and golf in 1995-96.
To establish the program in time for varsity competition in 2000-01, Skrivseth said a head women's varsity hockey coach will be hired by March 31, 2000, and the university will pay up to $1,500 toward the cost of ice time for the club team during the 1999-2000 season. The university also will provide educational assistance to the team and other interested students regarding the NCAA Division III rights and responsibilities that will be in effect when women's ice hockey becomes an intercollegiate sport at UW-Eau Claire.
Mash said the university's denial of the Athletics Committee's recommendation regarding women's ice hockey was not a case of whether hockey would be added as an intercollegiate sport, but when it could be added because of the funding issues and other considerations. "We are pleased to have resolved this issue in a timely and satisfactory manner," he said.
Karpinske also said she is pleased with the agreement. "I'm happy we were able to resolve this matter in this way. I think the agreement we came up works well for the team and the university."
With the addition of women's ice hockey, UW-Eau Claire's varsity sports module will include 10 men's teams including basketball, cross-country, football, golf, ice hockey, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and wrestling, and 12 women's teams including basketball, cross-country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, volleyball, and ice hockey. These teams compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Aug. 6, 1999