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The FAR Perspective With Missouri’s Dr. Pam Bruzina & Tennessee’s Dr. Don Bruce

Guest Dr. Pam Bruzina, Missouri; Dr. Don Bruce, Tennessee
27:53 min watch


Missouri Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Pam Bruzina and Tennessee Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Don Bruce join ADU’s Tai M. Brown at the 2024 NCAA Convention to discuss key issues in college athletics from the FAR’s perspective. Bruce and Bruzina talk about their specific roles from the context of their academic expertise and define more broadly the role and purpose of the FAR within both the Athletics and academic sides of a campus community. The duo also shares insight on issues such as graduation rates, the transfer portal and student-athlete employment. Bruce: “We’re going to have to liberalize transfer… I don’t think there’s any way around it.”

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - How would you define the position and purpose of the faculty athletics representative?
  • - Pam, is your definition of the FAR role similar?
  • - You've both been in the role for a combined 25 years- how has the role evolved over that time?
  • - Are you still leading the FAR Association?
  • - Given all the changes going on in the landscape, what's on the mind of a FAR today?
  • - How are we keeping up with the progress of graduation in this era of the transfer portal? 
  • - How long should that evaluation period be?
  • - FARs are inherently at an institution for longer than Athletics Directors, coaches or student-athletes; how do you balance your focus on the big scope on academic excellence with the small scope of immediate changes in the college athletics landscape? 
  • - Was there ever a point where you had to pound the table to make your voice as the FAR heard? Does that voice need to be louder now with everything going on in the industry?
  • - Pam, what is your insight?
  • - What kind of engagement or touchpoints do you have with student-athletes? 
  • - What about for you Don? 
  • - What is your full area of expertise?
  • - Have you found an overlap between your academic area of expertise and being the FAR for student-athletes?
  • - Don, what's the overlap of your expertise in economics and today's emphasis on the business of college athletics?
  • - If you could put together 1-2 bulletpoints that could be a framework for ADs to consider as we move the industry forward, what would they be? 
  • - Pam?
  • - There are some ADs who deal with faculty on campus who don't see the value of athletics; how do you address that with faculty at your institutions?
  • - Pam, why is it important to have athletics on a college campus?