BYLAWS AMENDMENT #4
SUBJECT: CRITERIA FOR AN AFFILIATED CONFERENCE (PER-SPORT MEMBERSHIP)
Amend Bylaws Article I, Section T as follows:
An Affiliated Conference must meet the following requirements.
1. An affiliated conference shall be organized under governing documents that include formal recognition of the responsibility to operate in a manner consistent with minimum standards established by the NAIA.
2. Governing documents of an affiliated conference shall require that final authority for the operations of the conference reside with a formal body (e.g. Conference Council of Presidents) composed of institutional chief executive officers within the conference.
3. Governing documents of an affiliated conference shall establish those matters fully within the direct control of chief executive officers, including, but not limited to:
a. Amendments to the constitution, bylaws and other governing documents;
b. Budget approval and financial oversight;
c. Employment and supervision of the conference commissioner;
d. Conference membership; and
e. Approval of the conference strategic plan.
4. Enumeration of the above responsibilities shall not be construed to deny the right of the Conference Council of Presidents to exercise any other power or perform other duties within the field of governance of the affairs of the conference.
5. Presidents shall exercise authority in matters under their direct control by convening at least one meeting annually, in which votes may be exercised only by presidents in attendance.
6. An affiliated conference shall employ a commissioner to provide effective leadership and administrative support to the conference, and may employ other professional staff determined by the conference necessary to ensure adherence to NAIA standards. The commissioner shall not be concurrently employed by any conference member institution.
NOTE 1: Affiliated conferences not fully in compliance with this criterion when it takes effect will be required to submit a specific plan and timetable by which the conference will fulfill the provisions.
7. Authorize the Council of Presidents to conduct periodic reviews of affiliated conference operations and determine sanctions related to violations of conference requirements. Conference sanctions would be consistent with those currently in place for institutional violations of NAIA rules.
8. Establish a Champions of Character Conference Committee, composed primarily of Champions of Character campus liaisons. The committee shall be charged with development and oversight of conference character education and activities.
9. An affiliated conference must have as full members a minimum of six institutions with NAIA active membership;
10. The constitution or charter of an affiliated conference shall provide for a commissioner, eligibility chair, faculty athletics representative, registrar, information director, and designate(s) for supervisor of officials;
11. The eligibility rules and standards of an affiliated conference shall be at least as strict as the NAIA;
12. An affiliated conference shall sponsor a minimum of three championships in NAIA recognized sports, of which at least one must be conducted each season (fall-winter-spring) for men and women (co-ed conferences). Single-gender conferences must sponsor a minimum of three championships in NAIA recognized sports, of which at least one must be conducted each season (fall-winter-spring). Affiliated conferences must have at least four institutional teams participating in each of the championship events;
13. An affiliated conference shall pay national dues to be established by the Council of Presidents and/or abide by revenue sharing policies with the NAIA for postseason events to be established by the appropriate council;
14. An affiliated conference must have a conduct in competition oversight committee composed of a minimum of three members. The committee’s responsibilities include recommending the scope of the conference’s activities related to event management, hospitality, conduct in competition, and sanctions related to conduct in competition within the conference; and
15. Governing documents of an affiliated conference shall include a clearly defined application and approval process for conference membership.
NOTE 2: When conference governing documents allow for multiple tiers of membership, an affiliated conference may permit an NAIA active member to join the conference on a per-sport(s) basis if the institution otherwise holds membership in an affiliated conference/A.I.I. which has fewer than six institutions declaring intent to participate in NAIA postseason in the given sport(s).
Institutions shall submit eligibility certification, request exceptional rulings, submit self-reported violations and report statistics through the affiliated conference in which the institution competes in a given sport.
An institution eligible for NAIA postseason and holding per-sport(s) membership in an affiliated conference shall:
a) count toward the automatic qualification calculations for the affiliated conference in the given sport for which the institution holds per-sport membership;
b) be eligible for automatic qualification to the national competition through the affiliated conference in the given sport for which the institution holds per-sport membership; and
c) be eligible for awards programs, conference ratings, national ratings, national statistical rankings and publications contests through the affiliated conference in the given sport for which the institution holds per-sport membership.
Intent: To allow institutions to join an affiliated conference on a per-sport basis if the institution’s current conference does not have six institutions declaring intent to participate in NAIA postseason competition in the given sport.
Effective date: August 1, 2014
Submitted by: Golden State Athletic Conference
Co-sponsor: Cascade Collegiate Conference