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Strategic-Positioning Outcome Area No. 5

Membership and Positioning Initiatives

The Vision:

Foster fiscal responsibility at the local, conference, regional and national levels; continue developing member institutions and conferences that support Division II’s strategic position and philosophy; and enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of Division II.

The Goals:

  • Allocate funds and resources in a manner that recognizes and supports the unique characteristics and attributes of Division II.
  • Continually review membership requirements and educational programming to ensure institutions and conferences support the strategic position and philosophy of Division II intercollegiate athletics.
  • Commit to the strategic management of Division II membership growth (as set forth in the white paper regarding Strategic Growth of Division II Membership).
  • Develop and promote using tools and resources to help institutions and conferences evaluate their position as members of Division II.
  • Develop a strategy and plan that provide new avenues to expand Division II branding and promotional efforts to external audiences.
  • Promote the Division II identity through collaborative partnerships and relationships.
  • Recognize Division II institutions, conferences and the governance structure for outstanding achievements through strategic initiatives.

Committees/groups charged with oversight in these areas:

  • Division II Presidents Council
  • Division II Planning and Finance Committee
  • Division II Management Council (Identity Subcommittee)
  • Division II Championships Committee
  • Division II Membership Committee
  • Division II Legislation Committee
  • Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Division II Athletics Directors Association
  • Division II Conference Commissioners Association

Initiatives COMPLETED since the adoption of the plan in April 2015 that support these goals:

Budget Philosophy

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Allocate funds and resources in a manner that recognizes and supports the unique characteristics and attributes of Division II.
Brief description of the initiative: The Division II Presidents Council and the Division II Planning and Finance Committee oversee a strategic and balanced alignment of planning and fiscal management that allows the division to benefit current members, provide championships experiences for student-athletes that are second to none, encourage membership growth and still maintain a healthy reserve. In January 2016, the Planning and Finance Committee and the Presidents Council agreed to modify the way the division forecasts future revenue in a manner that allocates more dollars to the base budget in order to fund core initiatives and programs, and reduces the amount of annual surplus. Beginning in 2018, the Planning and Finance Committee and the Presidents Council agreed to allocate an additional $2.5 million to the base budget for new initiatives or to enhance existing programs. Of that amount, $1.5 million will be devoted to Division II championships programming and initiatives, while the other $1 million will support new or existing initiatives in the areas of health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and student-athlete academic success.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Presidents Council and the Division II Planning and Finance Committee.
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The new allocations will be effective in 2018.

Promotion Through Digital Platforms

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Promote the Division II identity through collaborative partnerships and relationships.
Brief description of the initiative: Division II launched a “hybrid model” media that combines the value and reach of traditional over-the-air cable and network programming with other digital platforms.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Management Council (Identity Subcommittee).
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The new agreement protects the national television presence Division II has become accustomed to for its football and basketball championships but essentially triples the exposure during the regular season in those and other sports. Division II also launched an online site dedicated solely to Division II sports (NCAA.com/D2).

Institutional Performance Program

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Develop and promote tools and resources to help institutions and conferences evaluate their position as members of Division II.
Brief description of the initiative: The national office staff, in conjunction with the Membership Committee and Presidents Council, has created an “Institutional Performance Program” resource that increases transparency and usability of the data institutions are required to submit annually.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Presidents Council and the Division II Membership Committee.
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The IPP was launched at the 2016 Convention and is offered as a useful resource for schools to position themselves as viable Division II members. The institution version was so successful in fact that the Division II Membership Committee worked with staff to develop a version for conference use that was launched in the fall of 2016.

Expand Community Engagement to Military Groups

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Promote the Division II identity through collaborative partnerships and relationships.
Brief description of the initiative: The division implemented a program that incorporates military groups in the division’s community engagement effort at the campus, conference and national championship levels. The national office also provided a best-practices resource to help members implement the initiative locally.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Management Council (Identity Subcommittee).
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The program was conducted successfully at all 25 championships finals site; the best-practices resource is available online.

Tools to Tell the Division II Story

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Develop a strategy and plan that provide new avenues to expand Division II branding and promotional efforts to external audiences.
Brief description of the initiative: The governance staff developed a series of “tool cards” to help institutions and conferences explain and promote the value of Division II to audiences not familiar with the NCAA’s three-division structure.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Management Council (Identity Subcommittee).
Status/metrics for success: These products were distributed to the membership at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year and are available online.

Review of Accreditation

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Continually review membership requirements and educational programming to ensure institutions and conferences support the strategic position and philosophy of Division II intercollegiate athletics.
Brief description of the initiative: The Membership Committee is considering adding a requirement for new applicants that they be in “good standing” with their accreditation agency. A few previous applicants have either been on warning or on probation with their accrediting agencies, which negatively affects their application chances. Divisions I and III require applicants only to be accredited, which they are even if they are on warning/probation.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Membership Committee.
Status/metrics for success: COMPLETE. The Membership Committee established a minimum requirement for institutions applying to Division II that would require those institutions to be in good standing with their regional accrediting agency. This requirement will be effective for those institutions applying to begin the membership process in the 2017-18 academic year.

Initiatives LAUNCHED and still being implemented since the adoption of the plan:

Foundation for the Future

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Allocate funds and resources in a manner that recognizes and supports the unique characteristics and attributes of Division II.
Brief description of the initiative: Division II recently approved changes in its reserve policies, which combined with budget surpluses as a result of sound fiscal management over the years, produced a fund the division can apply to support its newly approved strategic plan. The Division II Presidents Council in April 2015 approved an allocation of $5.7 million over and above the base budget to fund special initiatives that support the 2015-21 strategic plan in ways that benefit the entire division.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: The Division II Presidents Council and the Division II Planning and Finance Committee.
Status/metrics for success: The Presidents Council approved 10 recommendations for programming beginning with the 2016-17 academic year.

Make it Yours Brand Enhancement

Goal(s) to which the initiative pertains: Promote the Division II identity through collaborative partnerships and relationships.
Brief description of the initiative: The student-athlete-driven Make It Yours campaign was adopted at the 2015 NCAA Convention and continues to gain momentum within the membership and with external audiences.
Group(s) primarily responsible for implementation: All of Division II.
Status/metrics for success: A purchasing website has been established for institutions to acquire signage and backdrops to promote the campaign. The campaign also is active via social media.

EXISTING INITIATIVES implemented before the adoption of the plan that continue to support the goals in SPO No. 4:

Division II Award of Excellence

Division II annually presents an Award of Excellence for an activity or event that exemplifies excellence in any of the areas covered by the six attributes of Division II – learning, service, balance, passion, sportsmanship and resourcefulness. Lindenwood University won the inaugural award in 2014, Bellarmine University was recognized in 2015, and Lee University in 2016. Another recipient will be announced at the 2017 NCAA Convention.

Faculty Mentor Award

The annual Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award is named after a physical therapy professor at Bellarmine University who died in 2013. It honors faculty members at Division II schools for their dedicated support and mentorship of student-athletes, and for demonstrating the same commitment to Division II student-athletes’ lifelong learning, competition and well-being.

Promotional Publications

The NCAA promotes Division II member achievements through NCAA Champion Magazine and NCAA News articles online. The division also compiles and distributes an annual Division II Yearbook at the NCAA Convention.