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Webinar, Meaningful Change on Campus: Culture and Social Justice in College Athletics

January 14, 2021 at 2:00pm3:00pm

Click here to download the recorded webinar.

Transcription available upon request.

Martin D. Edel, Joshua M. Davis, Carla A. Reeves, Tim Lewis as moderator, Chris Plonsky (University of Texas), Dr. Salatha Willis (Syracuse University), and Bob Boland (Penn State University)

The current and historic legacy of discrimination based on race and gender is on the front pages of our papers and our digital news feeds.  It also is top of mind for universities, athletic departments, athletic directors, coaches, and affiliated administrators. Join Goulston & Storrs for an interactive discussion with our panel of distinguished athletic administrators from Penn State, University of Texas and Syracuse University around how to take action and make meaningful cultural change in college athletics.

Featured Speakers:

Bob Boland, J.D. – Athletics Integrity Officer - Penn State University

bob boland headshot

Robert A. Boland joined Penn State University as Athletics Integrity Officer in July 2017.  In this role, he works to ensure the Athletics Department is meeting all University standards related to integrity, ethics, staff and student conduct and welfare, as well as NCAA and Big Ten standards.

The position, the first of its kind, was created in August 2012 in an agreement with the NCAA, Big Ten and Penn State.  It was charged with oversight and reporting of internal and external investigations into athletics. Boland chairs the University’s Athletics Integrity Council, a group that brings together senior administrators and faculty to review matters related to athletics and reports to the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and the Board of Trustees.

Chris Plonsky - Chief of Staff & Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director– University of Texas

chris plonsky headshotChris Plonsky has worked in college athletics since 1976 and is in her 32nd year at The University of Texas. She is executive senior associate athletics director/chief of staff and is UT’s senior woman administrator for Big 12 Conference and NCAA governance. She supervises staff leaders in student services (academics, career/leadership/personal development), equipment, compliance/risk management and sports medicine/health and wellness/strength performance. The latter area also includes staff experts in nutrition, behavioral health and applied sports science. Plonsky is a USA Basketball board member, a USOC Collegiate Advisory Council member and an emeritus board member of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame. She is past president of NACDA, NACMA and Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA).

Salatha Willis - Associate Athletic Director for Diversity, Culture and Climate – Syracuse University

salatha willis headshotSalatha Willis was appointed associate athletic director of diversity, culture and climate, a newly established position within the Department of Athletics, in July 2020. In this new capacity, Willis is charged with developing and implementing new approaches to creating a highly engaged, inclusive and equitable culture for all of the University's student athletes, administrators, coaches and staff in the athletics department. Willis will provide oversight and effective delivery of diversity educational and developmental programming, evaluate and measure the effectiveness of existing programs and services, and serve on and support University-wide committees and community groups. Willis has two decades of experience in higher education, including serving as Syracuse's associate director of the Office of Student-Athlete Academic Development since March of 2013. eligibility concerns. In addition, Willis worked with other Student-Athlete Academic Development staff members to implement life-skills programming.

About Goulston & Storrs

Goulston & Storrs is an Am Law 200 law firm, with offices in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. and over 200 lawyers across multiple disciplines. Our College Sports Law Practice represents and advises colleges, universities and athletic conferences in such diverse areas as reopening in the wake of COVID-19; diversity & inclusion training and education; employment relations and internal investigations; sports-related contracts; e-sports; media and product licensing; intellectual property including name, image and likeness (NIL), data privacy, agent relations and data privacy; sponsor/hospitality contracts; construction and retrofitting of stadia and arenas; Title IX; and risk assessment and litigation.