Press Releases

November 1, 2018

Board of Regents Failed Maryland in DJ Durkin Case. Here’s What the Board Should Do Next, according to Penn GSE expert.

November 1, 2018

Peter Eckel is available to comment.

Media Contact: 

 Media Inquiries:   Jeff Frantz (215)-898-3269/

“The University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents had an opportunity to act on certain core values of the academy in handling its former football coach DJ Durkin. It failed. 

“Again, the American public sees university athletics that are out of control. But Maryland’s board — like the boards at other university’s with major sports programs — has an untapped ability, and a responsibility, to set athletics on a proper course. 

“What should the Maryland Board of Regents do next? Here are the first steps:  

“Ask: Are we positioned to provide effective oversight of athletics? Do we have a workable framework to oversee a system that includes an array of institutions — from a flagship, Big Ten university to regional state schools? Given the significance of Division I athletics at that flagship, have we given this topic sufficient time and attention in our work as a board? Do we have meaningful data to do our jobs well (graduation rates, compliance issues, financial statements, etc.)? 

“Articulate a set of principles that will guide the board’s work related to athletics.  

“Take a hard look in the mirror related to the culture of the board as it relates to athletics: What are the questions we ask (and do not ask)? What is the tone of our work (booster or fiduciary)? Do we approach issues related to athletics with the same lens and level of critical scrutiny as our work related to finance, audit, institutional quality, research integrity?” 

-  Dr. Peter Eckel, expert on university governance  


  • Eckel is an expert on university administration, leadership and governance. 

  • He has advised university boards of trustees, presidents, administrators, and faculty leaders on how improved management and oversight can improve issues including academic performance, student life, and diversity.  

  • Co-Director, Penn Project on University Governance. 

  • Eckel is the co-author of Practical Wisdom: Thinking Differently About College and University Governance.