Journalism professor Barbara Luebke retired at the end of June after nearly a quarter century at URI. She had served as the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) since 2007. She arrived at URI in 1989 and, other than a one-year stint as the dean of undergraduate studies at Fitchburg (Mass.) State College, she has been a visible member of the URI community ever since.
As URI’s FAR, she was an important liaison between athletics and academics. (The NCAA requires each of its member institutions to have a FAR.) She also spent four terms on the University’s Athletics Advisory Board, including chairing the board from 2007–10. Additionally, she served on the Athletics Hall of Fame Committee and numerous search committees, including the one that brought current Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn to URI in 2007.
“It has been an honor working alongside Barb Luebke for the past five years,” Bjorn said. “She has become a lifelong friend as well as a confidante who I have utilized as a sounding board on so many issues throughout my time at URI. She has done a wonderful job focusing on many different student-athlete welfare and academic issues.”
Luebke—whose FAR role will be filled by Yvette Harps-Logan, an associate professor in the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design—took her role beyond the confines of URI by serving on the NCAA Committee on Athletic Certification for four years, and is now a member of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance. She has also served on committees within the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“Being the Faculty Athletics Representative has allowed me to combine my academic background and commitment to our students with my love of sports,” said Luebke. “One of the primary functions of the role is to help ensure quality of experience for the student-athletes.”