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Ford, Scott join DII Presidents Council

Deborah Ford, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and Steven Scott, president of Pittsburg State University, recently were elected to the Division II Presidents Council.

The Council is a 16-member board composed of chief executives from Division II member institutions. Ford and Scott were elected to fill vacancies within Region 3. One was to replace Judith Ramaley, who is retiring as president of Winona State University. The other opening resulted from an expansion of the Council based on Division II membership growth.

“Student-athletes, their success in the classroom and their connection with the communities served by NCAA Division II colleges and universities across the country is at the foundation of the Division II mission,” Ford said. “I am eager to serve alongside others who are dedicated to sustaining the high standards in academic-achievement and community connections in athletics through the Division II Presidents Council.”

Scott said he also looks forward to the assignment.

“I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the individuals who are serving on the Council, and I’m looking forward to working alongside them in support of the ideals and initiatives of Division II,” Scott said. “I’ve come to believe that much of Pittsburg State’s success is directly connected to our embracing the Division II experience for our student-athletes and its focus on academics, community engagement and excellence.”


Ford has served as Wisconsin-Parkside chancellor since 2009. In her role, Ford has stressed the importance of strategic planning. She was instrumental in the development of UW-Parkside Promise, a detailed strategic plan setting forth campus goals for enrollment, academic achievement, diversity, campus culture and climate, and community engagement.

A strong believer in community engagement, Ford recently concluded a two-year term on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Effective Leadership.

Ford previously served as vice president of student affairs at the University of West Florida. Before that, she was vice president and dean of students at Spalding University. In her role at West Florida, Ford was instrumental in the implementation of the second Division II National Championships Festival, which was staged in Pensacola in 2006.


Among his many responsibilities at Pittsburg State, Scott has been highly involved in the university’s strategic planning process, academic program review, accreditation and meeting the university’s performance agreements with the Kansas Board of Regents.

Scott has written and presented in a variety of forums and formats in support of the use of instructional technologies by K-12 teachers. In addition, his grant-writing efforts have yielded more than a million dollars in externally funded projects that have benefited hundreds of teachers, numerous school districts and other institutions of higher education.

He currently serves on the CEO Council of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and is a member of the Division II Academic Requirements Task Force.

Scott joined the Pittsburg State faculty in 1989 as an assistant professor in the department of curriculum and instruction. He became chairman of the department of special services and leadership studies in 1995. He became dean of the College of Education in 1999,  vice president for academic affairs in 2006, provost in 2008 and president in 2009.