September 19, 2012
Written by Celeste Villareal
Brian Shannon, the Charles B. “Tex” Thornton Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law, has been elected to serve as president of the 1A Faculty Athletics Representatives (1A FAR) association. His two-year term as president takes effect beginning Sept. 23 at the organization’s annual meeting in Dallas.
The 1A FAR is an organization of faculty athletics representatives at NCAA Division I institutions in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division 1A.
Shannon has served as the faculty athletics representative at Texas Tech University for the last four years and has been serving as the Big 12 Conference’s representative to the 1A FAR board for the last year. In addition, in April, the NCAA appointed Shannon to fill a vacancy on the Rules Working Group, which was created by NCAA President Mark Emmert in 2011 to review and amend the NCAA Division I Manual to reduce the volume of inconsequential and unenforceable rules that fail to support the enduring values of the organization.
“This is a tremendous honor for Brian and reflective of his dedication to maintaining a strong, collaborative relationship between academics and athletics,” said Texas Tech Interim President Lawrence Schovanec. “In his position as a law professor and as the university’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference, Brian has an unwavering commitment to the athletics program at Texas Tech. I have no doubt he will reflect that commitment as president of the board.”
“We are fortunate to have the leadership of Professor Shannon,” said Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt. “I appreciate that he recognizes and is committed to the role that intercollegiate athletics plays in higher education. There is not a more qualified individual to lead the Division IA Faculty Athletics Representatives board than Brian Shannon.”
“I am pleased and honored to serve as president of the 1A FAR and to be in position to continue the important work established by my distinguished colleagues. The harmony between academics and athletics must be carefully preserved for the benefit of our student-athletes and our institutions as a whole,” Shannon said. “I must also tip my hat to the inspired and tireless leadership of my predecessor, Professor Jo Potuto from Nebraska, whose efforts have consistently assured that the faculty voice is heard on all important matters being addressed by the NCAA.”
According to the 1A FAR website, the mission of the 1A FAR is to advocate for effective interaction and academic and fiscal balance between an institution’s academic mission and its intercollegiate athletics program. The organization addresses issues unique to Division 1A institutions, which requires a careful balancing of academic versus athletic interests, along with maintaining a focus on matters pertaining to student-athlete welfare.
In addition to his service as the Texas Tech FAR, Shannon has been a popular classroom teacher at Texas Tech Law since 1988. He also is a board appointee for StarCare Specialty Health System (formerly known as Lubbock Regional Mental Health & Mental Retardation Center), where he has served for more than 20 years and is a past chair. Shannon is an elected member of the American Law Institute and was the 2008-09 president of the Lubbock Area Bar Association. In past years, he served on the boards of Advocacy, Inc. (now Disability Rights Texas), NAMI-Texas, and the Texas Council of Community Centers. He also is a past chair of the State Bar of Texas Disability Issues Committee and a former Council member of the State Bar ADR Section. Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to four terms on the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities from 2003-11.
The Texas Tech School of Law is a leader among Texas law schools with a 16-year average pass rate of 90 percent on the State Bar Exam.
A small student body, a diverse faculty and a low student-faculty ratio (15.3:1) promotes learning and encourages interaction between students and professors.