Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2016

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 6 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 25 We Mean Business > O ver the past 50 years or so, col- legiate sports have been consid- ered one of the most inclusion- ary elements of American society. College athletics became universally integrated by race in the 1960s, and in 1972, Title IX mandated equality for girls' and women's sports at educational instutitions. Nevertheless, inequities in collegiate sports still persist, mostly in terms of the women's representation and oppor- tunity for advancement in leadership positions such as coaches and athletic directors. Men at Work Dr. Bernard Franklin Change at the Top The NCAA is putting a full-court press on increasing diversity and inclusion in college athletics Dr. Bernard Franklin is working to change that. Since 2003, he has been executive vice president of education and community en- gagement and the chief inclusion officer for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college ath- letics. He works with the NCAA president, executive vice presidents, and members of the President's Cabinet to ensure the devel- opment of programs, policies, and services that address educational and community engagement. He oversees diversity and in- clusion initiatives for both the NCAA mem- bership and its national office staff. Dr. Franklin's role is a challenging one. Although college athletics has di- versified on the playing field, change at the coaching level and above has been slow, particularly when it comes to gen- der. For example, when Title IX was enacted in 1972, more than 90 percent of women's college teams were coached by women. Last year, that number was 40 percent. e NCAA has been proactive and up- front about confronting and decreasing this gap. It has undertaken a number of studies, launched initiatives, and put together task forces to increase the representation of women and underrep- resented minorities in coaching and ad- ministration. For instance, an internal review conducted in April 2016 revealed that fewer than 7 percent of the athletic professionals at NCAA member schools in all three divisions were ethnic mi- nority females. In response, the NCAA launched a Gender-Equity Task Force. e path to change, says Franklin, is through changing the culture at the NCAA, which begins with developing buy-in from the leaders at each of its more than 1,100 member universi- ties—not only in the athletic depart- ment, but with school presidents and chancellors. Diversity Woman: When you joined the NCAA 14 years ago, was it in a diversity and inclusion role? Dr. Bernard Franklin: No. I came here to oversee governance of what at that time was called the membership ser- vices area. Over the years, my role has changed and evolved. I was part of the formation of our first office of inclu- sion in the history of the NCAA na- tional office, and was hired as our first vice president in that role. I reported directly to our president at the time, Dr. Myles Brand.

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