Managing an Identity: Social Identity Complexity and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives

Jay Martyn – University of Northern Colorado
Brian Fowler – University of Northern Colorado
Dominique C. Kropp – University of Kansas
Brent D. Oja – University of Northern Colorado
Jordan R. Bass – University of Kansas


The NCAA requires each member institution to designate a faculty athletics representative (FAR) to act as a liaison between academics and athletics. FARs occupy a unique position within the institutions where they are employed, as they are tasked with managing both academics and athletics simultaneously. The purpose of the current research was to examine FARs through the use of social identity complexity theory, and to help explain the way by which these individuals psychologically align with their various memberships. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to provide a deep understanding of the various perspectives of FARs. The results indicated that FARs see themselves as a member of both athletics and the academy and consequently think of themselves as a facilitator or moderator between the groups. This study is intended to fill a gap in the literature pertaining to the complex nature of the FAR position, and how FARs manage multiple social identities.