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Division II Strategic Plan


The Division II Presidents Council in April 2015 formally adopted a six-year strategic plan that builds upon Division II’s unique attributes and a position of fiscal strength to guide future decisions.

The plan supports Division II’s balanced and inclusive approach that affords student-athletes the opportunity to explore their varied academic and social interests, to grow as productive citizens and to contribute to their communities.

Upon adoption of the plan, the Presidents Council agreed to conduct a midterm assessment based on results from the 2018 Division II Membership Census to ensure that what the division committed to in 2015 remains on course.

This midterm assessment reaffirms the division’s commitment to the mission and vision and to the values that drive them. The plan’s original Strategic Positioning Outcome (SPO) areas remain as follows:

  • Academics and Life Skills
  • Athletics Operations and Compliance
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Game Day and Conference and National Championships
  • Membership and Positioning Initiatives

Within those SPOs, the division continues to pursue the following goals:

  • Produce student-athletes who graduate, who exhibit leadership, who engage with their communities and who have acquired the skills they need to maintain healthy and productive lifestyles.
  • Help Division II schools and conferences create engaged and high-functioning athletics operations and compliance programs.
  • Promote diverse, inclusive and welcoming environments within all levels of intercollegiate athletics.
  • Enhance the game day and championships experience for our student-athletes.
  • Demand fiscal responsibility at the local, conference, regional and national levels.
  • Respect our past, celebrate who we are, and enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of Division II.

The midterm assessment, as well as the original version of the strategic plan, are available to download via the links on the right rail. Also available is a PowerPoint deck based on the strategic plan that allows users to tailor the slides to highlight their own progress within each SPO. Institutions are encouraged to use this resource when presenting updates on their own strategic plans to governing boards and other oversight bodies.

Following are summaries of the accomplishments so far in each SPO from the midterm assessment:

Academics and Life Skills

  • Adopted Path to Graduation legislation in 2015 and created an online toolkit to educate/assist with implementation.
  • Established a SAAC network and accompanying newsletter.
  • Created a best practices document for FARs to address student-athlete mental health and well-being.
  • Added funding for the Degree-Completion Award Program.
  • Provided institutions with access to the Helper Helper app to monitor community engagement.
  • Established SAAC Super Region Conventions for student-athletes.

Athletics Operations and Compliance

  • Launched the interactive Division II University online education program in May 2018 that will transform the way members learn about Division II governance, legislation and compliance, and student-athlete health and safety initiatives.
  • Expanded the Coaches Connection program to include baseball, cross country, track and field, softball, wrestling, swimming and diving, golf and lacrosse (this brings the program representation to 21 of the 24 championship sports in Division II; lacking only men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey and women’s rowing).
  • Adopted legislation in 2017 that streamlines Bylaw 15 (financial aid).
  • Adopted legislation in 2017 that defines academic misconduct and resulting penalties.
  • Adopted legislation in 2017 to clarify the nonchampionship segment in several sports.
  • Adopted legislation in 2016 requiring strength and conditioning certification.
  • Launched the Culture of Compliance initiative to emphasize and educate the shared responsibility for compliance among all Division II stakeholders.
  • Conducted annual identity workshops for coaches.
  • Introduced new online education modules through the National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC).
  • Added professional development sessions in collaboration with the Division II Athletics Directors Association (ADA).
  • Introduced a more effective orientation system for first-time Division II committee members.
  • Created a promotional/instructional resource for institution/conference communications directors.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Restructured the Division II Coaching Enhancement Grant to better support member schools’ needs in creating full-time assistant coaching positions in any of the 24 NCAA-sponsored sports.
  • Created the Division II Ethnic Minorities and Women’s Internship Grant to provide funding for full-time, entry-level administrative positions.
  • Collaborated with the Division II ADA to create additional professional development opportunities for women and minority athletics directors.

Game Day and Conference and National Championships

  • Adopted legislation in 2016 that adds flexibility to automatic-qualification requirements.
  • Required sport committees to be transparent in publishing data used for selections.
  • New and improved regular-season media agreement.
  • Enhancements for web streaming national championships via
  • Expanded the Coaches Connection program to include baseball, cross country, track and field, softball, wrestling, swimming and diving, golf and lacrosse (21 of the division’s 24 national championship sports now have a connector).
  • Began providing transportation for community members to the championship venues.

Membership and Positioning Initiatives

  • Embraced a new budgeting philosophy that allows the division to benefit current members, provide championships experiences for student-athletes that are second to none, encourage membership growth and still maintain a healthy reserve.
  • Launched a “hybrid model” media strategy that combines the value and reach of traditional over-the-air cable and network programming with other digital platforms.
  • Created an “Institutional Performance Program (IPP)” resource that increases transparency and usability of the data institutions are required to submit annually.
  • Launched a concerted effort to involve veterans and military groups in community engagement efforts.
  • Developed a “Tools to Tell the DII Story” resource library on to help members promote the benefits of Division II to various audiences.
  • Promoted the Make It Yours brand enhancement to internal stakeholders and external audiences.