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New board members learn the NCAA’s ins and outs

The NCAA Board of Governors independent members: Kenneth Chenault, Mary Sue Coleman, Grant Hill, Denis McDonough and Vivek Murthy.

When NCAA members voted in January to add five new independent directors to the Board of Governors, an obvious question emerged: How should the new board members become informed about the inner workings of the NCAA in a way that preserves their fresh perspective but educates them about a complex organization?

“We worked to ensure the new directors have an operational knowledge of the Association, its governance structure and the role of the membership and national office staff,” says Donald Remy, NCAA chief operating officer. “The orientation is designed to engage them in critical discussions on finances, current issues, litigation and Board of Governors initiatives, and we also worked to familiarize them with the resources available to them that can inform the discussions.”

The new directors will attend their first Board of Governors meeting in August. Their onboarding education includes the following:

  • Individual one-hour videoconferences with each new director. In these introductory sessions, directors were introduced to national office staff they can turn to with questions, including Remy, the national office liaison to the Board of Governors. These preliminary discussions also involved information about NCAA finances — the sources of NCAA funding and where the money is spent — and a basic explanation of the governance structure.
  • One full-day orientation, which took place at the national office in Indianapolis. This session included information about how the relationships work among the three divisions and the full Association, as well as more detail about NCAA finances, including relationships with broadcast entities and corporate partners. This orientation also included information about how the Board of Governors incorporates NCAA priorities — student-athlete academics, well-being and fairness — into its decision-making process.
  • Relationship-building opportunities. The new directors will meet individually with the two board liaisons, Remy and Managing Director of Law Policy and Governance Jackie Campbell, and will engage with presidents on each division’s top-ranking board in conjunction with the Board of Governors meeting in October.

Meet the new members

The NCAA Board of Governors selected five new independent board members in April:

Kenneth Chenault, chairman and managing director of General Catalyst and former chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Co.

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities and former president of the universities of Michigan and Iowa.

Grant Hill, former college and NBA athlete; current broadcaster and NBA team owner.

Denis McDonough, senior principal and chair of the Rework America Task Force for the Markle Foundation and former chief of staff to President Barack Obama.

Vivek Murthy, 19th surgeon general of the United States.

Some of the educational materials shared with the new independent directors on the NCAA Board of Governors:

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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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