History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 29

29 President Marston laid the groundwork for UF’s admittance to the Association of American Universities (AAU) that occurred during President Marshall Criser’s tenure in 1985. Marston created an Eminent Scholars program, increased research programs and funding of research, and started other programs to attract National Merit Scholars and prominent faculty to UF, all measurable criteria for AAU membership. Membership in AAU is selective and limited to universities with outstanding academic, scholarship, and research programs per established criteria. This emphasis on academic excellence continues today through the launch of the 2014 UF Preeminence Campaign and ongoing efforts toward Top Ten public university status. Increasing academic excellence and the admittance to AAU drove the increase in admission standards for UF students. It was during this time period that UF began selectively admitting students with very high academic standards in a manner that supported a commitment to academic excellence within a diverse community that is part of the UF culture today. The NCAA football scandals involving high profile athletic programs came to a head in the mid-1980s. Under President Criser’s and Sandeen’s leadership in cooperation with University Athletic Association administrators, UF successfully weathered these scandals and ensured ongoing NCAA compliance, strong athletic programs, and academically successful UF student athletes. The overall goal was to graduate student athletes in higher percentages and provide a university experience for student athletes that was comparable and equitable to non-athletes. To that end, at the 1991 Convention the NCAA adopted a ruling eliminating all athletic residence halls on university campuses by August 1, 1996. The Springs Residential Complex was built in part to assist with the reassignment of male student athletes to residence facilities when Yon Hall athletic housing in the football stadium was closed in 1995. Previously, the Department of Housing and Residence Education housed overflow male athletes from Yon Hall and women athletes in various residence halls. Today, student athletes are housed in various residence halls campus-wide and are active members of their campus communities. Sandeen had a vision for a one-stop student services complex that would bring several university departments providing student services together in one location. This vision was realized in 1990 in a renovation to Peabody Hall that added the Marshall Criser Student Services Center. The Office for Student Financial Affairs, Office of Admissions, and the Registrar’s Office moved from I ntr od uction