Photo credit: Whole U
Liaison keeps the focus on education and complying with NCAA rules
Professor Alexes Harris bled purple long before she became a professor of sociology at the UW. A Garfield High School grad, she dedicated her career to exploring and rectifying social injustice while also working to help Washington Athletics stay laser-focused on the academic success of student-athletes.
Appointed by UW President Ana Mari Cauce in 2019, Alexes serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), a position mandated by the NCAA for every Division 1 university.
“The aim is to uphold the academic integrity of the university throughout the Athletic Department,” explains Alexes, who earned her Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Washington and a MA and PhD from UCLA. “I see firsthand the hours student-athletes put into their studies, practices and competition. I want to ensure they get the education the UW is renowned for.”
Those hectic schedules sometimes require accommodations that Alexes helps broker between professors and student-athletes. For example: finding secure test-taking options during away-game travel or smoothing schedules to facilitate honors classes that occur during practice times.
Alexes also engages in gatherings of recruits and their families, promoting UW academic opportunities. In collaboration with UW administration and athletic leadership, she coordinates the “Coaches Fellows” program, where new coaches and faculty share teaching philosophies and discuss UW resources and educational values.
Her role also includes serving as a liaison between Husky Athletics and the Pac-12 and NCAA, meeting with senior Athletic Department staff to review compliance with conference and NCAA regulations.
Alexes and other Pac-12 FARs review and establish positions on actions that might impact student-athletes’ physical and mental health as well as proposed rule changes.
In addition to recent Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) decisions, one current issue involves football conference expansion and the increased number of national championship playoff games. FARs are advocating to ensure that additional games will not disrupt final exam weeks in December.
“We recognize the work that student-athletes do for the benefit of the entire UW campus and community,” Alexes says. “I want to be sure they have access to every opportunity that other students have so they receive the education they deserve.”
A+ for learning in the fall quarter!
21 of 22
Teams earned a 3.0 or better; 13 teams earned a 3.4 or better
Student-athletes on the Dean’s List
Student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA