BGSU finalizes Ice Arena working group

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University President Carol A. Cartwright announced today the members of the working group that will explore operational, usage and facility-improvement solutions for the University’s 43-year-old Ice Arena.

Dr. Edward G. Whipple, BGSU vice president for student affairs, will lead the arena review effort for the University and report to Cartwright. The Division of Student Affairs operates the arena.

Jack Vivian will chair the working group. Vivian, BGSU’s first hockey coach, was instrumental in establishing both Falcon hockey and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Vivian is a longtime national consultant on ice arena construction, operation and management.

Joining Whipple and Vivian as members of the campus/community group are Jill Carr, David Ellett, Steve Krakoff, Ron Mason, John Quinn and Paul Windisch.

“For the arena to be viable, we need alumni, youth hockey supporters and the entire community to step forward,” Cartwright said. “This outstanding group of people is a good start. They bring to the table the types of experience we need to evaluate the challenges and provide workable solutions.”

Jill Carr, a longtime Bowling Green resident and youth hockey supporter, is assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students at the University.

David Ellett was a member of BGSU’s 1984 NCAA national championship hockey team. He also had a long, successful career in the NHL. He is now part owner of the New Mexico Scorpions, a minor league hockey team.

Steve Krakoff is BGSU’s associate vice president for capital planning and design.

Ron Mason is a former BGSU and Michigan State University hockey coach who recently retired as athletic director at MSU.

John Quinn is mayor of Bowling Green and a retired teacher.

Paul Windisch, vice president of First Federal Savings, is a former Bowling Green school board member and a supporter of youth hockey.

According to Cartwright, dozens of alumni and members of the community contacted the University to express their interest in assuring the future of the Ice Arena.

“The amount of interest was gratifying,” Cartwright said. “One of the tasks for the committee members is reaching out to these supporters and others. At the end of the process, we’ll have received input from a tremendous number of our stakeholders.”

In addition to the arena working group, NACDA Consulting, a national adviser on intercollegiate athletics, has been retained to help BGSU map the future of its athletic program.

According to BGSU athletic director Greg Christopher, the consultant has already begun to collect benchmark data, assess donor and fan sustainability, and develop institutional funding model comparisons.

NACDA will work with another University working group headed by Christopher to frame the options facing intercollegiate athletics at BGSU.

“Given the overall poor economy and the rapidly changing environment for college athletics, we are faced with making some hard choices,” Christopher said.

Cartwright has asked for a preliminary report from both groups by mid-May.

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(Posted April 14, 2009 )