By Kay Hawes, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
The NAIA Council of Presidents (COP) has extended Jim Carr's contract through 2017. Carr, the NAIA President and CEO, received a five-year contract extension at the COP's recent meeting in Kansas City.
"We believe that Jim Carr is the right leader for the NAIA for the foreseeable future," said Ted Brown, chair of the NAIA Council of Presidents and President of Martin Methodist College (Tenn.). "Jim has proven himself in so many ways over his six years as the association's president and CEO, especially through the strategic planning process and the launch of the NAIA Eligibility Center. We are convinced that he has the right mix of respect for our core values and that innovative spirit that will continue to extend the NAIA's strength and influence. Jim Carr has achieved enormous respect across the association and beyond, and the Council of Presidents is proud to be able to secure his service to the NAIA through 2017."
Carr has served as president and CEO of the NAIA since 2006. Under Carr's leadership, the NAIA created the NAIA Eligibility Center, which is in its second year rendering eligibility decisions on all entering NAIA student-athletes. Carr has been a strong proponent of increased presidential leadership in the NAIA, and he's overseen and supported the strengthening of conferences. He's also advocated for more stringent membership requirements that took effect this past year, and he has overseen both the creation of the NAIA Champions of Character Foundation and the NAIA's expansion of its Champions of Character program.
"I'm looking forward to continuing the progress we've made at the NAIA," Carr said. "We are committed to the idea that every student-athlete matters, and we believe our commonsense approach to intercollegiate athletics is the right one. The NAIA has long been known for its strong sense of community and its commitment to character. I plan to continue my efforts to ensure that our unique approach-with streamlined rules and a focus on the student-athlete-remains at the forefront of our efforts over the next five years."
In other action, the Council of Presidents adopted a White Paper on NAIA Conferences that identifies the requirements and expectations of all NAIA conferences. This action was the culmination of a two-year process that sought to evaluate conference best practices and identify areas of focus for strengthening conferences.
This effort was led by the COP and the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA) in conjunction with a Conference Development Committee, and it ultimately identified requirements related to several areas: conference operations, presidential leadership, Champions of Character, membership recruitment and retention, marketing and communications, championships, rules education, and sponsorships and revenue generation.
In other action, the Council of Presidents approved the creation of a 20-month academic initiative to analyze academic data emerging from the NAIA Eligibility Center as it processes and renders decisions for approximately 25,000 first-time NAIA student-athletes. The Council heard a report that the eligibility center staff had identified a subset of transfer students that seemed worthy of further evaluation.
In particular, aggregate data from several hundred student-athletes (out of approximately 25,000) had been identified and reviewed in April by the NAIA Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives (CFAR). The COP agreed to establish a three-part academic initiative to further research, discuss and potentially develop legislative or policy changes related to this subset.
The Council of Presidents charged the CFAR with oversight of the academic initiative, with additional representation from other stakeholders, such as presidents, registrars and conference eligibility chairs. It's anticipated that the entire membership will participate in a discussion of these topics at the 2013 NAIA Convention.