Presidents and chancellors at NCAA member colleges and universities have been encouraged to sign a pledge which commits their schools to achieving ethnic diversity and gender equity in college sports hiring practices.
The pledge was developed out of a concern for the low representation of ethnic minorities and women in coaching and athletic department administration at all college levels. On August 3, 2016, the NCAA Board of Governors approved the “Pledge and Commitment to Promoting Diversity and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics.”
Over 200 Division I institutions, 150 Division II institutions and 200 Division III institutions have signed this pledge so far.
This presidential pledge states that the institution, consistent with their mission and values, pledges to specifically commit to establishing initiatives for achieving ethnic diversity, gender equity and inclusion–with a focus and emphasis on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics–to reflect the diversity of their membership and our nation.
PLNU is among the hundreds of institutions that have signed the pledge so far. “I definitely think that there is an advantage to promoting diversity, because I do not want to represent necessarily one population,” said PLNU Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton. “I encourage those conversations of how we can become a better department, so I take that stuff very seriously.”
“It is great that so many institutions, including PLNU, have recognized and value the experiences that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to intercollegiate athletics…” said PLNU sophomore psychology major Sierra Bates.
“PLNU has a deep missional commitment to Diversity and Gender Equity. Signing the pledge is a means of honoring our institutional commitment and signifying that commitment to the broader NCAA and athletic community,” said Vice President for student development and Title IX Coordinator Caye Smith.
“We believe that commitment to diversity and gender equity is part of our responsibility as Christians in the Wesleyan tradition,” added Smith. “The responsibility is much deeper than a utilitarian ‘advantage.’ We will honor the pledge as we attempt to do each day, by honoring God and each member of our community with Christian love and respect. The pledge is a natural expression of who we are, rather than a new starting place for us.”
As part of this commitment, PLNU will also engage in a regular diversity, inclusion and equity review to inform campus policy and diversity initiatives.