Given the numerous incidences of academic corruption there have been in Division I university athletics, the Drake Group initiated the Academic Integrity Project in 2017. The Drake Group partnered with Karl Idsvoog and Dave Foster (both former reporters) and Robert Baumann (designer) of Kent State University and Dr. Max Grubb of Youngstown State University to conduct the necessary research and reporting to attempt to answer a basic question: how are university provosts checking for academic corruption?
The provost is the chief academic officer of the university and is directly responsible for maintaining the academic integrity of the institution via oversight of the University’s academic standards.
The Drake Group sent a public records request to every provost in the big-money conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 12, and SEC) asking for every analysis conducted by the university provost’s office or any outside contractor/consultant hired by the provost’s office since January 1, 2011, designed to check for academic corruption in your athletic department.
This project has three purposes:
- Providing information that might prompt state governors, members of state legislature education committees, members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and/or concerned citizens to take action to require transparency so the public can see what its public universities are doing;
- To encourage provosts at the highest risk higher education institutions (the most competitive NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision programs) to self-examine their institutional processes toward the end of uncovering academic corruption; and
- To share “best practices” from those institutions who have instituted effective oversight systems.