Dr. Keith Fudge of Van Buren, faculty athletics representative for the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, has received two national distinctions with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through his role for UAFS.
Fudge, an associate professor of English at UAFS, was one of 16 Fellows selected to represent NCAA Division II Athletics and one of three Division II faculty athletic representatives selected to serve nationally on the NCAA Steering Committee.
A faculty athletics representative is a member of an institution’s faculty or administrative staff who represents the institution and faculty in the institution’s relationships with the NCAA. Fudge was appointed to his position by UAFS Chancellor Paul B. Beran in 2007.
The three critical functions of a faculty athletic representative (FAR) are ensuring a quality student-athlete experience and student-athlete well-being, ensuring the academic integrity of the athletics program and ensuring institutional control of the athletics program.
Fudge said the goal of an FAR Advanced Leadership Institute held recently was to prepare draft documents to serve as a strategic communication resource focusing on the academic and advocacy voice of faculty athletics representatives in communicating with various stakeholders.
“Taking part in this was a significant opportunity to advance UAFS at a national level,” said Fudge. “I felt honored to be a part of it and to participate in activities to help clarify roles of faculty athletics representatives and the critical functions for us at our campuses.”
He added that the institute is also designed to develop leadership skills and engage in dialogue about intercollegiate athletic issues at the national level.
Fudge said Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, made remarks and held a question-and-answer session with institute participants.
Fudge is in his second appointment to UAFS as he served as a faculty member here from 1997 through 1999 and returned in 2007. He has also held faculty and administrative positions in traditional public schools and faculty positions at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Henderson State University, and at the Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts.