ncaa-d1 flag | April 30, 2019

NCAA elects five new independent leaders to top board


The NCAA Board of Governors on Tuesday selected the five independent members who will join college and university presidents on the board that sets the future direction for college sports. These five leaders will provide increased objectivity and fresh perspectives to the Association’s highest-ranking governance body. The newly elected members are:

  • Kenneth Chenault, chairman and managing director of General Catalyst and former chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Co.
  • Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities and former president of the universities of Michigan and Iowa.
  • Grant Hill, former college and NBA athlete; current broadcaster and NBA team owner.
  • Denis McDonough, senior principal and chair of the Rework America Task Force for the Markle Foundation and former chief of staff to President Barack Obama.
  • Vivek Murthy, 19th surgeon general of the United States.

“College sports and higher education will undoubtedly benefit from the diverse perspectives that each new member brings as we all look for the best ways to enhance the student-athlete experience,” said G.P. “Bud” Peterson, chair of the board and president of Georgia Tech. “With the addition of these independent members, the board structure is closely aligned with best practices in nonprofit and higher education to include public voices in the highest governing body.”

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The move is one in a series of reforms aimed at strengthening public trust in the NCAA as an effective leader and regulator in college sports. Representatives from schools and conferences in all three NCAA divisions voted in January to add independent members to the board.

That broadened representation on the NCAA Board of Governors was among the recommendations of the Commission on College Basketball, an independent group led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which formed in response to a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball. The commission recommended solutions to the NCAA after examining the complex issues within the sport.

The board contracted a third-party search firm, Heidrick & Struggles, to filter and vet more than 250 candidates during the nomination process. NCAA members and the public submitted more than 150 nominations. The Board of Governors Executive Committee, which includes presidents and chancellors from all three divisions, served as the nominating committee and provided recommendations to the full board for approval.

Coleman, a member of the Commission on College Basketball, will serve in a one-year transitional term. In the spring of 2020, the Executive Committee will nominate an individual for a full term to succeed her.

The other Board of Governors members include 16 college and university presidents and chancellors who represent each division as voting members; the chairs of the Division I Council and the Division II and III Management Councils as ex-officio nonvoting members; and the NCAA president as an ex-officio nonvoting member. The board members, including the five independent voting members, are volunteers who are not compensated for their time. The independent members’ first meeting is in August.

Click here for full biographies and video introductions for each new board member.

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