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DIII member dues increase might take effect this year

Members received a credit to offset the higher dues last year

The Division III dues increase that members adopted at the 2016 NCAA Convention may soon be implemented.

At its meeting this week in Indianapolis, the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee recommended the division fully enact the dues increase for the 2018-19 academic year. Last year, in the wake of a budget review by the committee and the Division III Management and Presidents Councils, Division III members were given a credit to offset the dues increase.

If the dues increase goes into effect, annual dues for Division III schools would rise from $900 to $2,000 and conferences would be required to pay $1,000, up from $450. The change would be effective for the dues owed by Sept. 1 of this year. The Management and Presidents Councils will have an opportunity to discuss the committee’s recommendation at their spring meetings.

Fully implementing the dues increase would bring the division $519,000 in unallocated additional revenue. The additional funding could be used for future championships enhancements or other initiatives, such as grant programs, as the division aims to spend down some of its excess reserve funding.

“The new dues structure was passed in 2016 and we want to respect that decision,” said Sue Henderson, committee chair and New Jersey City president. “Based on our budgetary needs, we think these modest increases will help DIII continue to support initiatives that will ensure strong championships as well as programs that will strengthen leadership opportunities for our athletes.”

Fees for new members

Per a proposal from the Division III Membership Committee, the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee also recommended that fees related to the provisional and reclassifying membership process rise in accordance with the cost of funding those programs. The fee for the exploratory application would jump from $500 to $1,000, and the fee for new membership would rise from $37,000 to $39,000. Those changes reflect the actual costs associated with funding the provisional and reclassifying membership process and would not apply to any schools already taking part in the process.

Bracket expansion

The Strategic Planning and Finance Committee approved a recommendation from the Division III Championships Committee to expand the bracket in the Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. If the recommendation is approved by the Management Council, the field for the Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship would increase from nine teams to 10 for the 2019 championship. The change carries a cost of $37,000.

Budget update

Committee members were offered an update on the division’s current and projected budget. Though costs for championships exceeded what was allocated by roughly $400,000 this fall, largely due to charter flight costs, the excess spending was anticipated and is part of a seven-year plan to spend down the division’s $14 million surplus above its mandated reserve. Excluding the supplemental reserve spend-down, the division is expected to carry an annual budget surplus from operations through the 2022-23 academic year.