December 12, 2013

Chancellor named to NCAA panel

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Rita Cheng has been appointed to an NCAA board subcommittee that is exploring significant changes in the organization’s Division I governance structure.

Cheng, who also chairs the NCAA’s Presidential Advisory Group, is one of seven presidents and chancellors serving on the subcommittee since August. Its charge is “to guide the formation of concepts for governance redesign … and lead a division-wide discussion of the ideas,” according to an NCAA announcement.

The NCAA board has agreed on several principles that will guide the work of the subcommittee:

  • A more transparent, faster and simple governance process is needed.
  • School presidents would continue to lead the division, with the board focusing more on overall strategy and vision and less on day-to-day operations.
  • While there is a wish to maintain a single Division I, some schools should have the leeway to decide how best to support their athletes financially -- a way to resolve the so-called stipend debate.

The subcommittee will also consider input from athletic directors, faculty, coaches' associations, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and other groups as it drafts proposals to be presented to the full membership at the NCAA convention Jan. 15-18 in San Diego. The goal is to have a final plan by spring.

Other members of the subcommittee are Nathan Hatch, NCAA board chair and president at Wake Forest University; Gene Block, president of the University of California, Los Angeles; Michael Drake, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine; David Leebron, president of Rice University; Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina; and Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University.