EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern University Vice-President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips has been elected to chair the new National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Council, and serve as the representative athletic director on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

In the newly redesigned Division I governance structure, the council is intended to conduct the day-to-day business of the division, a roster of 345 colleges and universities. As chair, Phillips will guide the group in its duties, including building much of the substructure and creating an effective relationship with the Board of Directors as well as championships, budgeting and student-athlete well-being issues.

“I’m humbled to serve the Division I Council, the NCAA and, most importantly, student-athletes across the nation in this role,” Phillips said. “The landscape of college athletics has dramatically been reshaped, and will continue to adapt with the care and development of our young men and women as the paramount priority.”

A native of the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side, Phillips returned home to become Northwestern’s athletics director in 2008. He currently serves as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Under his leadership, Wildcats student-athletes have accomplished historic success in the classroom, in the community and in competition.

Before coming to Northwestern, Phillips served as athletics director at Northern Illinois. He also spent time as an administrator at Notre Dame, Tennessee-Knoxville, Arizona State and Illinois Urbana-Champaign, his alma mater.

Phillips will serve a two-year term as chair. The Division I Council will elect a vice-chair during its first full meeting, set for February 3-4 in Indianapolis.