Chris Leupold, professor of psychology, will succeed Hall in the role on June 1.
Eric Hall, professor of exercise science and director of undergraduate research, will step down as Elon’s faculty athletics representative (FAR) at the end of this academic year. Hall was appointed to the position by President Leo M. Lambert in 2008, succeeding computer science faculty member Vicki Hightower who served 18 years as Elon’s first FAR.
President Connie Ledoux Book has appointed Chris Leupold, professor of psychology, Isabella Cannon Leadership Professor and Faculty Fellow for Law and Leadership as the next faculty athletics representative, beginning June 1.
“Eric Hall has been dedicated to this important role for 15 years, doing an outstanding job of connecting academics with athletics,” Book said. “The ongoing academic success of Elon student-athletes is evidence of Eric’s influence in fostering a culture that promotes excellence in both the classroom and athletic competition.”
“I like to say that I’m the hyphen in the term student-athlete,” Hall said. “My job has been to be the bridge between academics and athletics at the university.”
The NCAA requires all colleges and universities to have a designated faculty athletics representative as part of institutional governance. Specific duties of the position vary among schools, but those in the role generally serve as liaisons between the institution and the athletics department. At Elon, the FAR is a member of the Faculty Athletics Committee, overseeing the intercollegiate athletics program and making recommendations about such things as academic and fiscal integrity; gender equity, diversity and student athlete welfare; and athletics governance.
Hall says his highest priorities in the FAR position have been on academic success of student-athletes and the student-athlete experience. He says he has always been a fan of Elon athletics, but in this role he has always maintained objectivity and concentrated on the needs of students.
“Over the years, I have seen an increased focus on the entire student-athlete experience,” Hall said. “We pay a lot of attention to diversity, equity and inclusion; mental health issues; and the importance of giving student-athletes a bigger voice in what’s happening in athletics.”
Hall says being faculty athletics representative has been a good fit with his skill set and his discipline of exercise science. He has served on numerous NCAA and CAA committees, including as the CAA representative on the NCAA’s Committee on Academics, on the CAA Student-Athlete Wellness and Sport Performance Committee, the NCAA Division I Concussion Protocol Committee, the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and the NCAA Academic Council.
He has enjoyed developing relationships with colleagues at other institutions as well as Elon students, coaches and athletics staff.
He is especially proud of the role he played in launching the initiative to ensure all student-athletes have the opportunity to study abroad with their teammates. “It is a great example of the ways we think about the whole educational experience student-athletes have during their college careers,” Hall said.
Hall accompanied the first two athletics study abroad groups, traveling with the men’s basketball team to Germany and Northern Italy and with the men’s soccer team to Portugal and Spain.
Hall says this is a good time to conclude his service as FAR because of the demands of his new role as Elon’s director of undergraduate research.
Leupold begins service as FAR with significant experience, including serving as part of Elon’s NCAA self-evaluation study committee, leading student-athlete global study experiences and mentoring many student-athletes.