The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) today asked presidents and chancellors at NCAA member institutions to affirm their commitment to ethnic, racial and gender diversity when conducting searches for athletics administrators.
All presidents and chancellors—as well as athletics conference commissioners—in Divisions I, II and III are encouraged to sign a pledge approved Aug. 3 by the NCAA Board of Governors. It also is endorsed by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.
In a statement, ACE President Molly Corbett Broad and Board Chair John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University (DC), gave their full support to the NCAA’s effort and urged campus leaders to support the pledge, calling intercollegiate athletics programs “a visible and important extension of institutional missions” that should be a part of the dialogue on campus diversity.
The NCAA said in a news release that while many colleges and universities have become more proactive on diversity initiatives, progress has been slow. An NCAA survey from 2014-15 found that fewer than 10 percent of athletics directors are African-American; minorities hold only 13 percent of leadership positions in athletics administration; and only 40 percent of head coaching positions in women’s sports are held by women.
Colleges, universities and athletics conferences that commit to the pledge will be recognized in a public listing on the NCAA’s website.
Full text of the pledge
“Consistent with our mission and values, [NAME OF NCAA MEMBER HERE], a member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), pledges to specifically commit to establishing initiatives for achieving ethnic and racial diversity, gender equity and inclusion with a focus and emphasis on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics to reflect the diversity of our membership and our nation.
“We recognize and value the experiences individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to intercollegiate athletics. To that end, we will strive to identify, recruit and interview individuals from diverse backgrounds in an effort to increase their representation and retention as commissioners, athletics directors, coaches and other athletics leadership positions. As part of this commitment we will also engage in a regular diversity, inclusion and equity review to inform campus policy and diversity initiatives
“We understand this to be a collective responsibility we owe to student-athletes, staff, our athletics programs and the entire campus community.”