225 COLLEGE PARK DRIVE • WEATHERFORD, TX 76086 • 817-594-5471 / 800-287-5471
The U.S. Department of Education has notified Weatherford College that an investigation regarding gender equity in athletics has been terminated, based on the College's commitment to take action.WC officials recently received a letter from the agency's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) approving a resolution agreement between the OCR and the College. The agreement states that, when fully implemented, the College's actions would resolve the issue."We are extremely pleased with the resolution agreement," said Dr. Joe Birmingham, WC president. "The OCR recognized that the College already has made a commitment to address this issue, so they offered technical assistance on how to achieve full compliance over the next three years. The staff at the OCR was incredibly helpful and supportive, and with their assistance, we have begun to implement the process prescribed in the agreement." In September, 2008, the OCR received a complaint alleging that WC had failed to effectively accommodate the athletic interests and abilities of its female athletes from 2002 to the present.In working with the OCR, the College has agreed to develop policies and procedures to ensure that appropriate information is collected and reviewed on an annual basis regarding the athletic interests and abilities of all students. The College also will conduct surveys to determine the unmet athletic interests and abilities in intercollegiate athletics of its female students.Survey results may lead to a plan to implement a team or teams to meet the interests and abilities of female students. If such a plan calls for additional teams, competition must begin by the 2011-12 academic year.The agreement states that the College will submit various monitoring reports on progress toward key conditions of the agreement. "I am rather pleased with the progress made to this juncture," said Dr. Steven Garippa, WC director of athletics. "We, of course, will need to meet timelines and progress toward resolution, which would have been the course of action anyway. Now, however, we are getting the help and blessing of the OCR in the resolution already under way at WC."Currently, WC competes in men's and women's basketball, baseball, and men's and women's rodeo.