INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division III Presidents Council, which met August 5, in Indianapolis, reviewed and endorsed a membership survey that will be sent to Division III CEOs later this month to gather feedback regarding the second phase of the "Future of Division III" deliberations.
This second phase of the discussion is a direct outgrowth of the Division III membership adopting a resolution at the 2004 NCAA Convention that instructed the governance structure to continue to examine the challenges of membership growth and diversity in Division III as a component of its strategic planning.
The Division III governance structure will send a copy of the survey to other athletics campus constituents in late August, in an effort to increase campus dialogue prior to formal submission by the CEO, with results and related concepts discussed with the membership at the 2005 NCAA Convention.
It is hoped that the survey will serve as a vehicle to gather feedback from the Division III membership on issues to be addressed by the Division III governance structure over the next two years. Those issues, as identified by the resolution adopted by the membership, are: membership growth, membership diversity, and institutional and conference autonomy.
Division III, with 422 active institutional members and 140,549 student-athletes, is the largest NCAA division in terms of institutional membership. Eighty-percent of Division III member institutions are private, and 20 percent are public. The diversity of that membership, in areas ranging from enrollment size to academic mission and geography, is an issue that the Division III governance structure intends to explore more fully with the help of the survey, virtual focus groups and in-person visits to conference and regional meetings.
The survey includes questions seeking feedback on how Division III might manage its growth and provide access to championships and other postseason opportunities. The survey also seeks input regarding membership views of sports sponsorship, the academic success of student-athletes, the integration of student-athletes and athletics personnel on campus, and issues relating to conference affiliation.
Though the survey requires a CEO signature, the Division III Presidents Council is asking presidents to sit down with their athletics director, senior woman administrator, faculty representative and student-athletes to discuss the survey and provide a truly institutional response.
In other action, the Division III Presidents Council:
Approved a draft of the Division III Strategic Plan as integrated into the Association-wide Strategic Plan.
Approved a financial contingency plan that would assist the division in the event of a catastrophic financial situation.
Approved a preseason illness and injury survey for all Division III sports and an expansion of an existing study in the sport of football.
Reviewed progress on the division-wide pilot financial aid reporting process.