You are here

Division II Presidents Council adopts new strategic plan

The blueprint will guide the division over the next six years

The Division II Presidents Council this week approved a new strategic plan, securing the framework that will guide decisions and direction in the division over the next six years.

The new plan builds off the goals and strategies outlined in the 2012-15 plan as well as the existing Division II mission, core attributes and “Life in the Balance” philosophy. It identifies five strategic positioning outcome areas for focus: academics and life skills; athletics operations and compliance; diversity and inclusion; game day and championships; and membership and positioning initiatives.

Months of research, reviews and revisions led to the final product approved at the Presidents Council meeting Thursday in Indianapolis. Over the last year, results were analyzed from the Division II census – a comprehensive membership survey completed in 2013 – to determine the current state of the division and where it wants to go. Though the resulting plan is designed to last through 2021, a midway assessment – and any necessary adjustments – will be conducted in 2018.

“A strategic plan should drive the budget,” said Judy Bense, president of the University of West Florida and chair of the Presidents Council. “Whenever we spend our money, we ask, ‘What strategic priority does this project address?’ And if the answer is ‘none,’ the money doesn’t get spent.”

For each of the five primary areas of focus, the plan lists goals and strategies, tools that can assist with those strategies and various committees and groups responsible for implementation and oversight. Goals include:

  • Helping students-athletes earn their degrees, develop leadership skills, maintain healthy and productive lifestyles and engage with their communities.
  • Helping campuses and conferences maintain engaged and functioning athletics and compliance operations.
  • Fostering diversity and inclusion on campuses, at conferences and in the NCAA governance structure.
  • Providing outstanding Division II game day experiences at the local, conference and national levels, and creating fair and equitable competition through consistent selection criteria and appropriate access.
  • Fostering fiscal responsibility, enhancing the public’s knowledge and appreciation of Division II and developing member schools and conferences that support the strategic position and philosophy of Division II.

“This strategic plan hits the main points of what the NCAA is all about, from diversity and inclusion to health and wellness to academics,” Bense said. “It is really an excellent one.”

The full strategic plan is available online.

Membership process recommendation

Also at its meeting, the Presidents Council recommended the Division II Membership Committee codify its policy to address prospective Division II schools that are not in good standing with their regional accrediting bodies. The council concluded that schools trying to join Division II but under a warning or on probation with their regional accrediting body should not start or be able to progress through the membership process until the issue is rectified.

Convention legislative concepts

The council approved two legislative concepts for the 2016 NCAA Convention. The first proposal would allow athletes from NAIA schools to transfer to Division II schools without obtaining permission to contact from their current school or consent to use the one-time transfer exception. The second would enable student-athletes to participate in athletics while studying abroad without impacting their eligibility. The council will review these concepts again at its August meeting and make determinations on whether to continue to sponsor the proposals for the 2016 Convention, which will take place in January in San Antonio.