In this interview, Jerry I. Porras, an emeritus professor in the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a faculty athletics representative (FAR) under three different athletic directors, describes the duties he performed as the faculty athletics representative, the workings of the athletics program, and some major issues he faced during his tenure.
A faculty member at Stanford since 1972, Porras explains that he became involved with the athletics department in the 1980s when the football coaches asked faculty to meet with potential recruits about their academic goals. Porras then took on the faculty athletics representative position when it became available several years later.
Porras describes the main duties of the job, including conferring with the athletic director and the senior woman administrator of the athletics program, serving as the voting representative at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Pac-12 conferences, and cultivating and monitoring compliance culture at the university. He highlights that Stanford administrators committed early to following both the letter and the spirit of rulings passed at NCAA and Pac-12 meetings, a legacy that he is proud of.
Porras discusses how Stanford chose to handle Title IX differently from other schools. Unlike other Pac-12 schools that cut men’s programs to comply with the new regulations, Stanford increased the number of women’s programs. Porras relates the Title IX discussion to the financial structure of the athletics program, noting how day-to-day operations are funded and how Stanford alumni have made significant contributions to the success of longer-term projects, such as facility improvements, new programs, and athletic scholarships. Porras also compares the varying strengths of the three athletic directors he worked with.
Porras concludes his interview with a discussion of the current state of student athletics within the structures of the NCAA and the Pac-12 organizations. He sees the future of student athlete programs shifting due to the influence of television and funding. He lays out several scenarios, each requiring universities to reevaluate their core values going forward.
Jerry Porras, Stanford Historical Society, oral histories, interviews, higher education, Department of Athletics_Physical Education_and Recreation, DAPER, Admissions Office, and academic advising
August 19, 2016
Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program interviews, 1999-2012