It is a pleasure to write an essay about something I really enjoy, and it is especially pleasing not to worry about footnotes. I have been a law professor since 1977, and in August 2012, I started my 35th year of teaching. It is still fun to be in the classroom; my students energize me, teaching remains a challenge and being a productive scholar is important. I am one of those professors who likes his law school, university and professional service commitments. I am fortunate to have the best job in higher education: being a tenured law professor. My service as the University of Georgia’s Faculty Athletics Representative is the icing on the cake.
In the following paragraphs, I will discuss the FAR selection process at UGA, the skills that an experienced law professor brings to the position, my first major challenge as FAR, and how this challenge tested my skills. I will conclude with some random thoughts about lawyers, universities and their athletic associations, intercollegiate sports and the NCAA. In writing this essay, I asked myself what value a lawyer/law professor adds to the performance of the FAR’s varied duties. Based on my experience to date, I cannot say something like “A non-lawyer FAR would not have understood this particular process or issue as quickly as a lawyer FAR.” My safest conclusion is that the FAR at a research university competing in a major conference, like the SEC or the Big 10, should not be an untenured Assistant Professor or a senior Associate Professor, who is tenured but will never be promoted. It is vital that the FAR be a tenured full professor who is known and respected campus-wide, has credibility with his or her colleagues and with the university’s administration, and understands how things work on the campus. An experienced law professor can satisfy these criteria but so can an experienced professor from the English or Physics Department or one from any other department, school, or college at the university.
David E. Shipley,
The Law Professor as Faculty Athletics Representative: Some Random Thoughts After Two Years
, 2 Miss. Sports. L. Rev. 287
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/926