By David Pickle
Mike Racy, NCAA vice president for Division II, has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for academic year 2011-12.
The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutional capacity and build leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Fifty Fellows, nominated by their respective presidents or chancellors, were selected this year in a national competition.
“We congratulate Mike Racy on his selection as an ACE Fellow,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of membership and student-athlete affairs and chief inclusion officer. “He is the second NCAA staff member to be chosen for this prestigious professional experience and we are pleased that Mike will add this experience to his professional portfolio.”
David Schnase, managing director of academic and membership affairs, served as an ACE Fellow in 2010-11.
Of the more than 1,700 participants in the first 46 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.
“We are excited to welcome the new class of Fellows,” said Sharon A. McDade, director of the Fellows Program. “The program offers individualized, accelerated learning that advances leadership readiness while building institutional capacity.”
Each ACE Fellow will focus on an issue of concern to the nominating institution while spending all or part of the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution.
The University of Central Missouri will serve as Racy’s host institution during his Fellowship. He hopes to work on projects that are centered on strategic governance for student success and, from an NCAA perspective, on ways to enhance presidential engagement with intercollegiate athletics at the conference and national levels.
During Racy’s Fellowship, Terri Steeb, director for Division II, will assume day-to-day responsibilities for administration of the division.
Racy has served as Division II vice president since assuming the role in 2003. He joined the Division II staff in 1996 as assistant chief of staff for Division II and was promoted to Division II chief of staff in 1999.
He joined the NCAA staff in 1993 as a legislative assistant. During that time, he was assigned by the NCAA Presidents Commission to assist with a special project to reorganize the governance structure for all three divisions and to rewrite the constitution for the Association.
Racy attended Washburn University and worked for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics after graduating. He subsequently enrolled at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, law school and obtained his juris doctorate degree in May 1992, graduating with honors.
Racy began his legal practice as a general litigation attorney with the Gage & Tucker law firm of Kansas City, Mo., before joining the NCAA. His current assignments include serving as a member of NCAA President’s Cabinet; managing the Division II governance structure and the division’s $33 million annual budget; providing leadership in the consideration of policies, legislation and issues that affect Division II member institutions and conferences; and coordinating the national office staff support and services for the Division II membership.