The presidents of the New England Small College Athletic Conference met today, April 22, and adopted unanimously a new mission statement. They also unanimously took several actions designed to strengthen NESCAC and guide the participation of its member colleges in post-season competition.

NESCAC MISSION STATEMENT
The New England Small College Athletic Conference, founded in 1971, consists of 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges. It members are committed first and foremost to academic excellence and believe that athletic excellence supports our educational mission.

Each institution is committed to providing a comprehensive athletic program available to the entire student body. All participants in athletic activities are treated equitably.

The conference is based on mutual trust, and all members are committed to the highest ethical standards in our relationships with each other. It encourages its members to compete with one another and is committed to promoting equitable competition among us. The conference is committed to establishing common boundaries to keep athletics strong but in proportion to the overall academic mission of the member institutions.

In pursuit of this mission, the Presidents of each NESCAC institution control intercollegiate athletic policy. The day-to-day operation of the athletic program is conducted by the Director of Athletics. Students on all intercollegiate teams are to be representative of the overall student body and are admitted with the expectation of their full participation in the life of the college. In all sports, conference members give primary emphasis to in-season competition where programs have fixed starting and ending dates and where the number of contests is limited. The conference and each member will manage competition and post-season play in a manner that minimizes conflicts with class schedules and examinations.

END MISSION STATEMENT

Regarding the policies and future practices of NESCAC, the Presidents' group made the following statement:

We agreed to create a conference office and to appoint a conference coordinator for record-keeping, research, public information, and organization of special studies, both academic and athletic, among other duties. We hope to fill the position by the fall of 1998.

We reaffirmed the primacy of in-season competition and we recognize the importance of post-season play outside the conference as a special opportunity,

With that in mind, we agreed to the following basic guidelines for post-season competition in the future:

We anticipate that this evolution will take as long as three years, and will ask our athletic directors and new conference coordinator to develop appropriate models and timetables of transition in the next months.

President Tom Gerety, Amherst College
President Donald W. Harward, Bates College
President Robert H. Edwards, Bowdoin College
President William R. Cotter, Colby College
President Claire L. Gaudiani, Connecticut College
President Eugene M. Tobin, Hamilton College
President John M. McCardell Jr., Middlebury College
President Evan S, Dobelle, Trinity College
President John A. DiBiaggio, Tufts University
President Douglas J. Bennet, Wesleyan University
President Harry C. Payne, Williams College