Why are presidents and chancellors being invited to sign a pledge?

In January 2016, the NCAA Board of Governors reviewed data on the racial/ethnic and gender representation of individuals in leadership positions within intercollegiate athletics. Noting the underrepresentation of people of color and women in these positions, the board adopted a resolution to reaffirm the Association's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in athletics leadership and requested supportive action from both the membership and the national office. 

The board also created an ad hoc committee charged with reviewing, researching and providing recommendations about matters of diversity and inclusion that impact the Association. The committee is composed of presidents, conference commissioners, athletics directors and liaisons from the Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics and the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. The ad hoc committee determined one of its first actions would be to engage senior leaders at NCAA conferences and schools through a voluntary pledge for diversity and inclusion. 

What would my signature on the pledge mean?

The NCAA respects and promotes the autonomy of its member institutions. Therefore, the pledge is a voluntary commitment that invites chancellors, presidents and conference commissioners to publicly express their support for diversity and inclusion efforts within intercollegiate athletics. By signing on behalf of your institution, you acknowledge that diversity and inclusion are core values to the Association and that efforts to create inclusive environments positively impact the welfare of student-athletes, administrators and coaches. 

Does the pledge commit my institution to any hiring requirements?

No, the charge from the ad hoc committee for leaders who have signed the pledge is to consider best practices toward increasing the diversity of candidate pools, finalist selections and hires. Through sources like the NCAA demographics database, the NCAA national office reviews high-level aggregate data to track the Association's progress in diversifying the representation of individuals in athletics leadership positions. At the organizational level, the national office seeks to recognize and help celebrate the efforts of athletics departments, campuses and conferences through initiatives such as the Award for Diversity and Inclusion. 

Does the pledge commit my institution to spend extra money?

No, the commitment accepted by signing the pledge does not require an outlay of funding by the signatories. The decision to allocate funds toward new programs or initiatives related to diversity and inclusion efforts remains at the discretion of your institution's leadership. The NCAA national office will provide support and guidance for membership institutions wishing to create, maintain and/or enhance initiatives related to the pledge. 

What if my institution already has its own diversity initiatives in place?

The ad hoc committee recommends that those efforts be maintained and enhanced. In fact, signing the pledge can serve as an opportunity for campuses to highlight and connect initiatives to achieve the most impact.

What is the diversity, inclusion and gender equity review that is referenced in the pledge?

This review is a best practice for institutions and a recommendation from the ad hoc committee. It stems from the knowledge that reflection and evaluation are essential stages in implementing any outcome-oriented plan. While the ad hoc committee will provide templates and suggestions for these reviews, such efforts are meant to be uniquely suited to each organization's needs and are shared solely at the discretion of the chancellor, president or commissioner. You will not be asked to report anything related to the review to the ad hoc committee or the NCAA national office.

How many people have signed the pledge?

Thus far, leaders from more than 800 schools and 100 conferences have signed. See the full breakdown here.

How can I sign?

Signing the pledge is easy: Fill out this online form or email and include the name of your institution.