Spagnoli succeeds Joseph Quinn, who, as a member of the Economics faculty, had served in the position since its creation in 1994. Quinn relinquished the post when he was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in July.
As faculty representative, Spagnoli is also chairman of the University's Athletic Advisory Board, a 10-member body of faculty members and administrators which promotes communication and cooperation between BC's academic and athletic endeavors.
"Joe is going to be a tough act to follow. He did an outstanding job," Spagnoli said. "Right now, I am trying to grasp the responsibilities of the position. But I do know that Boston College athletics are doing well and that we have a clean program. I would like to support all of those people in the University who have worked so hard to make it such a successful and clean program.
"I also want to support the hundreds of Boston College student-athletes who have experienced both the pleasure and the pain of balancing athletic participation and higher education."
Spagnoli noted that a recent National Collegiate Athletic Association survey placed Boston College ninth among all its Division I institutions in student-athlete graduation rates, with 88 per cent of all varsity athletes receiving their degrees within six years of enrollment. In Division I-A football, Boston College and Northwestern University tied for second place (83 percent player graduation rate) during the most recent six-year period of the study.
A member of the advisory board since its beginning, Spagnoli also served on the fiscal integrity subcommittee during Boston College's NCAA certification study last year.
Spagnoli said the board plans to examine two issues of particular interest in the near future. "We want to look at why some student-athletes have chosen to give up their eligibility and leave the University," he said, noting a growing national trend for college athletes to withdraw after their freshman or sophomore years.
The board also plans to look at conflicts that may exist between athletic practices and class schedules, he said.
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