“It has been a pleasure to watch Julie grow into the leader she has become. I know she is interested in hearing the membership’s views and is highly respected by the current staff. I believe her potential for creativity, responsiveness and effectiveness is unlimited and that the NCAA membership will be the beneficiary of her upcoming contributions to intercollegiate athletics.”
~ David Berst, Vice President for Division I Governance, NCAA
“The NCAA has made a great hire. Julie is incredibly hard-working, bright and talented who has a history of implementing new ideas and processes at the NCAA. The NCAA membership and enforcement staff will benefit from her extensive knowledge about the enforcement process, and her ability to organize, manage and analyze complex issues and processes. With her dynamic and engaging interpersonal skills, she is the perfect person for this position.”
~ Robin Harris, Executive Director, Ivy League
“Ms. Lach and I first met while I was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Millikin University and she was a member of our Board of Trustees. She was the youngest member and one of the few females on the Board. Because of her acumen, she rose into Board leadership as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, which I staffed. Julie’s term on the Board has ended. But, because I now live and work in Indianapolis, she and I have more easily been able to extend our association and become friends. I encouraged her to apply for the VP of Enforcement position because I knew for sure she had the right balance of credibility and approachability to provide the leadership needed in that job. I congratulate the NCAA for making such a wise choice.”
~ Dr. Jamie Comstock, Provost, Butler University
“I have known Julie Roe Lach in a variety of capacities – as a student, as a colleague, as an alumnus of my school, and as a friend. The NCAA could not have made a better choice for the position. Julie not only has the technical skills for the job, she also has the temperament and wisdom that the position requires. College athletics and student athletes will be well served with Julie as part of the NCAA’s senior leadership team.”
~ Andrew R. Klein, Paul E. Beam Professor of Law at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor/IUPUI Campus
"I have known Julie since 1995 when she was playing basketball for Millikin University and I was a trustee; she was an outstanding athlete and a gifted scholar. Julie served as a trustee for Millikin University from 2001 until 2010. As a trustee she immersed herself in the governance process and became one of our most knowledgeable and productive members. In whatever activity Julie becomes involved, she demonstrates great passion for fully understanding how to create excellence. Julie is a fierce competitor, a person of great passion and enthusiasm and treats everyone she meets with dignity and respect. Julie Roe Lach will add a new level of professionalism to NCAA."
~ Douglas E. Zemke, President, Millikin University
NCAA put a Price on enforcement: Enforcement head David Price rises between 3 and 3:30 a.m. and arrives at work within an hour or two, a lifestyle that may not fit well with his Dec. 1 retirement. Read more »
Enforcement chief Price to retire: David Price, vice president for enforcement services at the NCAA national office, will retire December 1, 2010, culminating a career in intercollegiate athletics that spans nearly a half-century. Read more »
By David Pickle
Julie Roe Lach, NCAA director of enforcement since April 2004, was announced Tuesday as the new NCAA vice president of enforcement.
She will replace David Price, who will retire in December.
Julie Roe Lach
“Julie’s solid experience, incredible energy and innovative ideas make her the perfect choice for our next vice president of enforcement,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “I have complete confidence in Julie’s ability to evaluate the enforcement process and programs from top to bottom. She'll seek input from our membership and be responsive to their concerns regarding the timeliness of the process while developing initiatives to discover and address violations. We’re excited about the prospect of moving forward with Julie leading this very important function.”
Lach plans to interact with the membership as a first order of business to ensure that enforcement services are as effective as possible.
“I’m going to engage the membership by making campus visits to connect with people who have been involved with the enforcement program,” she said. “Some individuals have first-hand experience based on their institutions’ involvement in an investigation while others have a historical perspective of the enforcement program.
“As I work with the enforcement staff to evaluate our operations, our focus and our structure to ensure we are positioned to address the most pressing issues facing intercollegiate athletics, we want to make sure we are partnering with our members in identifying critical issues that demand our attention. Ultimately, we are accountable to the membership to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible,” she said.
Lach said virtually everything about how the enforcement process functions will be up for review, but she emphasized the overall strength of the staff.
“The enforcement program has had increased attention resulting from a series of high-profile cases,” she said. “Most of these cases are a direct result of the staff’s hard work to cultivate sources and develop a solid understanding of critical issues and trends. We need to learn from this success. We need to examine what is working and constantly question how we can be better.
“The enforcement department consists of an incredibly talented and diverse staff committed to enforcement’s mission. This opportunity to take stock of our strengths while candidly identifying areas for improvement will not undermine the department’s success but rather reinforce our mission while engaging the membership as we set the course for the future.”
Lach said members should take ownership of the enforcement program in a discussion that is removed from a specific case.
“We all have the common goal to have a strong, effective program dealing with issues that run to the core of competitive equity,” she said. “This isn’t going to happen in 30 or 60 days, but I see it as an opportunity to really examine how we can create the best enforcement program we can possibly have to better serve our members.
“An investigative function in a service capacity may seem ironic to some, but not to me. That’s why we need to stay connected to the membership.”
Julie Roe Lach was named a GTE Academic All-American and Kodak All-American in 1997 for her academic and athletic performance as a member of the Division III Millikin University women's basketball team.
Lach also promised to create a better understanding of enforcement functions.
“We want to bring transparency, not to the cases we’re investigating by any means but in terms of the process,” she said. “We want to shed the mystery about how the enforcement staff operates. That’s something we need to do with the membership and the media to help them understand who enforcement is, who’s on the staff, here’s how we do our job based on the procedures we’ve all agreed to and here’s what we do and why we do it. That’s an ongoing effort, and it’s going to be a big push.”
Lach formally joined the staff in 1998 as a student-athlete reinstatement representative after having served a year as an intern in the enforcement staff’s secondary-violations area. She became director of student-athlete reinstatement in 1999 and director of enforcement in 2004. She also has served as primary staff liaison to the Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct since 2005.
Emmert praised Price, the outgoing vice president.
“I would like to recognize David Price’s fine work as vice president of enforcement over the last 12 years,” Emmert said. “He has made an enormous contribution to the Association through his tireless efforts on behalf of all student-athletes to ensure that fair play and integrity are at the forefront of college athletics.”
In addition to her staff experience, Lach also recently completed nine years of service as a member of the board of trustees at Millikin University, her alma mater. She is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and is a member of the State of Indiana Bar.
Lach will be the first woman to lead the NCAA enforcement division. The previous heads of the area were Art Bergstrom, Warren Brown, Bill Hunt, David Berst and Price.
“It’s not lost on me that I’m the first woman in this role,” she said. “I thought about that as a finalist. Now that my husband and I have a baby girl, I’m especially proud to be the first woman and humbled by the responsibility. We need female role models and females in leadership positions.”