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Schulz named new chair of Board of Governors

Kansas State president takes over leadership role of NCAA’s top governance committee

Kirk Schulz

The NCAA Board of Governors established its new leader Friday when Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz was named the chair of the NCAA’s highest-ranking committee during its meeting at the 2015 NCAA Convention.

Schulz has represented the Big 12 Conference on the Division I Board of Directors and the NCAA Executive Committee — which in October renamed itself the Board of Governors — for two years. He also served on the subcommittee that redesigned the Division I governance model, which took effect this week at the Convention.

He will serve as chair of the Board of Governors until January 2017. The Board of Governors is composed of 20 presidents and chancellors from all three divisions and plays a strategic role in overseeing association-wide issues.

Schulz has served as Kansas State’s president since 2009 and has set a long-term vision for the school that includes a goal of making the university one of the nation’s top-50 public research institutions. In his positions in NCAA governance, Schulz has been an energetic advocate for the new legislative structure in Division I. He has also expressed his belief that the college athletes who will hold seats on the new Division I Council and Board of Directors will bring a valuable perspective to those groups’ discussions.

Schulz replaces Lou Anna Simon, the president of Michigan State University, who has chaired the committee since August 2012.

Structure of board discussed

The Board of Governors approved the formation of a working group to determine and guide the process for redeveloping the future structure of the board.

The group’s formation continues a yearlong discussion about the board’s role in the overall Association and its makeup. Those discussions already resulted in its name change from the NCAA’s Executive Committee to the NCAA Board of Governors. Members felt the name better aligned it with other groups that oversee higher-education associations. At the same time, the board recast its responsibilities around four areas of focus to reinforce its purpose: protecting the ethical and fiscal integrity of the NCAA, the integrity of the collegiate model and the integrity of the national office.

The working group will develop the criteria that will be necessary to explore any changes to the board's composition or structure. 

Any changes proposed by the new working group and approved by the board would require a vote of the entire Association at the NCAA Convention. A two-thirds majority vote, with each institution receiving one vote, would be required to approve any new structure.

Student assistance fund increase approved

The Board of Governors approved a pair of increases in financial distributions to Division I members.

The board approved an $18.9 million increase to its annual revenue distribution to members, the use of which must follow the guidelines of the Student Assistance Fund or the Academic Enhancement Fund. The funds will be distributed equally among Division I members and will be effective for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The board also approved a supplemental distribution of $54.75 million to Division I members, which will occur in February. That represents a $6.75 million increase over the distribution Division I members received in 2014.